Saturday, May 19, 2012


Went to Foster Botanical Garden to smell the Corpse Flower from Sumatra, but alas… at ten years of age, it is still considered an immature plant and only opened fully the day before, and only for one day.  They had about a thousand people line up to see and smell it yesterday.  My visit today was a day late.  It had closed up and did not smell bad at all.  I’ll have to wait another three to five years before it will flower again.  At least I saw one up close.  Here’s some info on it:

The Corpse Flower

Amorphophallus titanum, which is said to be the biggest, smelliest flower in the world, looks like something that could eat a human being. When it blooms it can reach over nine feet in height and smells like a mixture of rotting flesh and excrement. The pungent odor attracts bees which are trapped in the flower until they are covered with pollen. Then they are released to fertilize other plants.

A blooming Amorphophallus titanum's "flower" (actually it is technically a leaf or spathe) can be three feet across. It is notoriously difficult to get a titanum to bloom outside of its native Indonesia, and botanical gardens around the world often try for decades without success. Bloomings of the Amorphophallus titanum have happened only about a dozen times in the United States since the first success at the New York Botanical Gardens in 1937.

When the plant does bloom it moves quickly. It can grow as fast as 4 inches per day. The period when the "flower" is open lasts only about two days.

Although the Amorphophallus titanum looks a lot like you would imagine a man-eating plant to look like, and it even smells like somebody is dead inside, it is not carnivorous.

 Dwarfed by a kapok tree


  1. Brave soul you are. I can't imagine lining up with a thousand others just to smell a stink plant. Lol. What next?

  2. It does look scary and I can't imagine the smell (stench?).

    Glad you had the opportunity to see in bloom.

    Like the picture.