Thermal imaging timelapse shows how 'Tiny' heats up to stink out the Glasshouse Range

When 'Tiny' the titan arum took us by surprise in July 2015 and came into flower in the Glasshouse Range at the Cambridge University Botanic Garden, volcanologist Dr Clive Oppenheimer set up his thermal imaging camera to capture the process known as thermogenesis. Through a series of chemical reactions, the central spadix of the Amorphophallus titanium heats up to emit and distribute an atrocious stench to attract pollinators, thought to be carrion beetles and/or blow flies. This accounts for its common name of 'corpse flower'. It is native to the rainforests of Sumatra.

The film clearly shows the spadix heating up from the tip down on night one of its five day flowering. Just over 12,000 visitors came to the Garden to share in the experience. We are eternally grateful to Dr Oppenheimer of the Department of Geography for his time, expertise, enthusiasm and unbelievably cool camera!
Publication Date