Garden Daytrip: Corpse flower at Niagara’s Floral Showhouse

Titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum) on its way to flowering

I came to Niagara Falls for the daffodils; 500,000 of them. More on that later. My surprise find was one of the world’s biggest, smelliest, most suggestive flowers in bud, the titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum). In the next couple of weeks or so, it will burst into bloom and reveal why it’s also called the¬†corpse flower.

Yep, it will smell like rotting meat. And if you get yourself over to the otherwise charming Niagara Parks Floral Showhouse sometime in early May, you could experience it. The bloom lasts only a couple of days.

Note that the Showhouse is available for weddings and events… though perhaps not advisable during the flowering season of this rare Sumatran native. The receptionist just a few feet to the left of this photo is really looking forward to the opening of this flower, I’ll tell you! That being said, I wish I could be there when it happens. I mean, how often would you get the chance?

Admission is less than $6, all of which supports the conservatory. Add it to your Niagara Falls itinerary!

A long view, to show the arum’s relative size. The rapidly growing flower can reach as much as three metres (9 feet).
A closeup of the flower’s male (solid yellow) and female (red/black/yellow) organs, as explained on the signage.
The Niagara Parks Floral Showhouse is a charming sidetrip, a short walk from Canada’s Horseshoe Falls
An avenue of saucer magnolias (Magnolia x soulangeana) marked the entry in late April 2012
The top of the Falls is almost visible from the front rose garden, watched over by the Spirit of Park Hall
Flowering crabapples and a Japanese maple nearly in leaf edge the rose garden by the entry
Corpse flowers aren’t the only attractions in the attractively composed hot and cool conservatories.
Besides the gigantic arum, kids would love the turtle family or plants like the Fairy Washboard Haworthia. In fact, a group of mums and small children were in line after me.

6 comments

  1. You have to pay now to enter the green house, plus the fee for the parking. Not a great deal at all. The good news is the "Falls" are free.
    You can walk into the green house and see the Big Amorphophallus titanum from the front, so there is no need to pay unless you want to see a 5min walk around green house.

  2. I went to see the flower as well, and I can't believe they charge now to enter. You are better off walking around the outside. I will not be going here again. If you go a little further up the road there is a nice park with ponds and it is "Free"

    1. I thought that $5.95 was a small price to pay to support the greenhouse, which gets no other funding. But, you're right, if you drive up to the Dufferin Islands area, which is a very pretty place for a walk or picnic, you can park there for free (for now) and stroll back to the Showhouse. Parking in Niagara Falls is a bit expensive, shall we say. But, hey, once parked, it's easy to walk everywhere… and they do have free shuttles to the Botanical Gardens from downtown. So: trade-off!

    2. I was more than happy to pay the $ to enter this Floral Showhouse as it is beautiful and expensive (with the price of electricity thanks to someone or other), but I did not know about the free shuttles to the Botanical Gardens. Where are they? Thank you.

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