Quantcast

DNAinfo has closed.
Click here to read a message from our Founder and CEO

Giant Smelly 'Corpse Flower' About to Bloom at New York Botanical Garden

By Eddie Small | July 21, 2016 12:17pm
 The giant smelly corpse flower (L) is just days away from blooming at the New York Botanical Garden. The flower first bloomed at the garden in 1937 (R).
The giant smelly corpse flower (L) is just days away from blooming at the New York Botanical Garden. The flower first bloomed at the garden in 1937 (R).
View Full Caption
The New York Botanical Garden

The very big and very smelly "corpse flower" could be just days away from blooming at the New York Botanical Garden for the first time in almost 80 years.

The flower, currently on display at the garden's Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, first bloomed in the western hemisphere at the garden in 1937, and officials at the garden expect it to bloom once again sometime this weekend.

The plant, which is native to Sumatra, Indonesia and officially known as Amorphophallus titanium, releases an infamous odor that smells like rotting meat and attracts pollinators who feast on dead animals during its peak bloom, which only lasts between 24 and 36 hours.

The flower is enormous, growing to 12 feet tall in the wild and between 6 to 8 feet tall in cultivation, and although it resembles one giant flower, it actually consists of two rings of male and female flowers wrapped by a frilly leaf called a spathe.

The corpse flower's bud grows between 4 to 6 inches per day at the beginning of its bloom cycle before slowing down significantly, and the spathe unfurls over roughly 36 hours before withering.

Corpse flowers generally take between seven to 10 years to store up enough energy to begin their bloom cycle, and the New York Botanical Garden acquired this one in 2007.

The corpse flower initially bloomed at the garden on June 8, 1937, and a second corpse flower then bloomed at the garden on July 2, 1939.

Former Bronx Borough President James Lyons celebrated the event by naming the corpse flower the official flower of the borough, but it was replaced by the daylily in 2000, according to the garden.