Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Royal Botanical Gardens

The Royal Botanical Gardens is a 980 hectare nature sanctuary that straddles Burlington and Hamilton and is part of the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve. It was modelled after Kew Gardens in London to be both a botanical tourist site and a conservation area. There are all kinds of plants and birds and reptiles to be found within its several gardens - the Mediterranean Garden, Hendrie Park, Laking Garden, The Arboretum, Cootes Paradise, and my personal favourite, The Rock Garden.

There is some argument whether Burlington's RBG or Rochester's Highland Park has the world's largest collection of lilacs. (hint, it is RBG)

It has just about something for everyone from music, tea houses, walks, art, exhibits, trees and flowers.

Regrettably though, what it does not have is






THE TITAN ARUM

which bloomed early this morning!
are you getting tired of me rambling on about this thing?

I had an email alert that the second rotten smelling 'corpse flower' had bloomed early this morning, so as soon as I finished work, I raced - no, I did not race on the highway - I roared through the beginning of rush hour traffic to experience it for myself. Just for the record, this is an extremely rare event. These flowers, nicknamed Morphy and Clive, are only the 150th and 151st in the world to ever bloom in cultivation (and the first in Canada)

The smell was not as bad as I feared, though there was one corner where I guess the air was not circulating as freely and it was rather ... rank. but seriously, a skunk smells much, much worse.
Apparently, within 20 minutes of opening, the spike, or (spadix, which is hollow), had started to fall over
and even as I was there (for about an hour) you could actually see the blood red petal wilting. The bloom lasts literally for only a few hours

the remains of the first flower that bloomed on May 5th is in the back.
I already posted previous pictures when I was in Niagara Falls to see it here and here 

it was all quite exciting. really.
although you might want to rub your face in some sweet smelling lilacs after your visit.

17 comments:

  1. Truly amazing scenes. How is it propagated? The collapsed flower looks totally exhausted and rather depressed.

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    1. I thought it looked rather exhausted - just think of the enormous amount of energy that would be needed for all that growing and blooming!

      here is an excellent link to see what it looks like inside with the little flowers. One of the Parks employees said that they plan to open up one of these plants so the public can see the male and female flowers. they are hoping to collect some of the pollen to help pollinate another plant.

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  2. Wow, what a trip- thans for sharing. I feel lik eI visited in person! A good relax and recuperation...

    Chrissy from Manchester: Rolls Royce started in Manchester Mancunian Wave

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    1. ...except you missed out on the smell. what a shame.

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  3. I've always wanted to visit these gardens. You have just encouraged me to do it this year.

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  4. So much plant work for such a limited payoff!

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

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  5. It's huge...thanks for going to see it and sharing with us...and frankly, I'm glad we don't have smellavision.

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  6. Wow - you made it all the way to the NF gardens to see the flower after work. You're a brave one! I can hardly make it to the gym. :) I'm glad you got there though, I may never see one of these in real life, but the pictures and your words are certainly interesting. I still wonder what it smells like, but smell is such a hard thing to describe in words.

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    1. actually, it is not unlike what my aquarium smells like when it is needing cleaning.
      so you can come visit my turtle and have a whiff, if you'd like.

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  7. Not that you'd be likely to go visit a skunk. But it sure is an interesting flower.

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    1. surprisingly, this spring there seems to be fewer skunks around at night. i wonder where they have all gone?

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  8. A very strange flower! Wonder what that odour was intended to attract? We have a rather rude-shaped plant which smells like rotting flesh, but it attracts a certain sort of fly that takes the spores to elsewhere.

    All part of nature's plan.

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    1. apparently it is supposed to attract some sort of beetle.
      beetles do not have discriminating tastes, I guess.

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  9. It really is an amazing flower, however, it does stink to high heaven!

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