THE world's smelliest flower helped the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and its three regional gardens attract more than a million visitors last year.

The RBGE said the opportunity to see new and unusual plantings from around the world - including one called the corpse flower because of its stench - and fine weather during spring last year helped to attract 904,956 people Edinburgh and regional gardens Benmore, Dawyck and Logan recorded significant increases in visits with figures exceeding 110,000.


Research scientist Dr Axel Dalberg Poulsen of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh with the Amorphophallus titanum. Picture by Gordon Terris

Factors contributing to growth included the blooming of the Edinburgh garden’s exotic Amorphophallus plant, which is known as the world's smelliest flower drew thousands of visitors in summer, and the recent success of the garden’s Christmas at the Botanics event which sold 70,000 tickets.

Read more: Major steak restaurant to open at former RBS HQ in Edinburgh

Regius Keeper Simon Milne said the gardens are "making a positive difference to people’s daily lives by providing places of discovery and relaxation".

He said: “It was a busy year for our intrepid teams of botanists and horticulturists who undertook expeditions around the world to countries including Indonesia, China, Nepal and Chile, and discovered 43 species of plants new to science, and who led conservation field work in Scotland’s own natural habitats."

Read more: Major steak restaurant to open at former RBS HQ in Edinburgh

In recent years, visits to Edinburgh’s glasshouses have more than doubled, from 52,140 in 2012 to 117,360 in 2017.

The 10 glasshouses are home to over 3,000 exotic plants from around the globe including a renowned collection of tropical species, including the famous Amorphophallus, reflecting RBGE’s expertise in that part of the world.

Read more: Major steak restaurant to open at former RBS HQ in Edinburgh

A recent independent report estimated that RBGE contributes £52m per year to the Scottish economy and that the organisation’s activities generate globally £103m economic impact per year.