World's biggest flower about to blossom in Meise

Expectations are high at the National Botanical Garden in Meise. All eyes are on the titan arum or Amorphophallus titanum that is expected to blossom soon. The plant boasts the biggest flower in the world. It is notorious for the unpleasant odour that it exudes.

Botanical experts say that on the first day that it blossoms the smell of the titan arum resembles a mixture of rotting meat, rancid cheese and fish that has gone off.

The plant flowered for a first time in Meise three years ago. The plant is in bloom for three days. The smell is most pronounced when the flower first opens. The smell gets less powerful over the course of 72 hours and then finally disappears as the flower wilts.

In 2008 the flowering of the blossom attracted crowds of 8,000 over three days.

The plant usually only blossoms once every three to eight years. The National Botanical Garden will be open in the evenings as soon as the plant blossoms. You can also follow developments on the Garden's facebook page. Belgium's National Botanical Garden also has a website in English.