IT STINKS Jul 07, 2019
Corpse Flower

It’s been in the news, and it stinks. In this case, ‘it stinks’ doesn’t mean a bad or unpleasant situation. It means it smells rancid, and this rancid, putrid aroma comes from of all places, a flower. I know I only think of flowers as having lovely aromas like lavender or peonies or roses, but this flower is not your average bloom. Besides having an overwhelming rancid aroma, it takes 7-10 years to bloom and then only blooms for 24-36 hours. It so much larger than any other bloom that I know of as it stands 10’ tall with its leaves spanning 13’ wide. This bloom is appropriately named, Corpse Flower.

I’m just a geeky flower girl, who was excited to experience something that only happens every 7-10 years for 24-36 hours.

Corpse Flower

I have heard about this unique bloom for years. Besides the fact that its bloom time is so short, and they can’t be found just anywhere, I had not had a chance to see and experience one. Last summer there was in bloom at the New York Botanical Garden which is within an hours drive from my house, but I was out of town. I was bummed. This year I heard they had another one getting ready to bloom, and I watched every day for over a week to find out its progress as they never know when it’s actually going to bloom. The day before I was going to be traveling again, it was blooming!

It was quite the trek to get there the following day to fit it in before I hit the road again, but I was excited to see and experience it. When I arrived, I was only to find out it had already been in full bloom at 2:45am, and that’s when the stinky smell erupted to attract its pollinators: beetles and flies. So, I was a little disappointed, but I had fun calling my husband and my Mom to let them know they could see me on YouTube as there was a live stream of the bloom. Silly right, but I’m just a geeky flower girl, who was excited to experience something that only happens every 7-10 years for 24-36 hours. How crazy is that!?!

Corpse Flower

Share with me below: what flower would you like to experience that you haven’t?

Botanical gardens all over the United States are caring for and hoping for a bloom some 7+ years down the road. I can’t even imagine what goes into taking care of one large bloom. It makes me very grateful for botanical gardens and how they care for, maintain and educate all of us on how amazing nature is.

Corpse Flower. Photographed @ the New York Botanical Garden.

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