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For plant lovers it does not get much sexier, even if it is real stinker. The Arum Titan, or Corpse Flower, has been pulling the crowds in at Basel’s botanical gardens in Switzerland.

Despite its pungent odour, said to resemble rotting flesh, botanists can hardly contain their excitement.

Heinz Schneider from the Botanical Institute at the University of Basel said: ‘‘It’s the best thing you can have in a Botanical Garden. It’s the star attraction. In terms of visitor numbers we’re at our peak. From now on fewer and fewer people will come.’‘

Although the monster plant is 17 years old, this is the first time it has ever bloomed. However, as soon as the two metre tall plant emerged in its magnificent glory, it was gone, wilting within hours.

Native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, worldwide, there have only ever been 134 recorded blooms of Arum Titan in artificial cultivation.

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