News Column

"Corpse flower" set to bloom this weekend at Missouri Botanical Garden

June 28, 2014

By Stephen Deere, St. Louis Post-Dispatch



June 28--The enormous "corpse flower" at the Missouri Botanical Garden is almost ready to emit the odor for which it is famous.

The corpse flower, known by horticulturists as Amorphophallus titanum or titan arum, is on display this weekend at the Missouri Botanical Garden's Linnean House.

The rare flower blooms only once every year or two, and officials believe that could take place this weekend.

If it happens on Sunday, the garden will host special evening hours from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Its regular Sunday hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The flower's massive inflorescence opens quickly, often in just a couple of hours.

The bloom last about three to five days, with the odor -- typically described as smelling like rotting flesh -- subsiding in about a day.

The bloom can grow to over 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide.

The garden has hosted the blooming of three titan arums in recent years. The first was on May 19, 2012, followed by a second a month later.

The last time one of the plants bloomed was in October.

Few corpse flowers exist in cultivation, according to the garden.

The garden has eight specimens. One of the ones that bloomed in 2012 was the 154th in the world since the plant was cultivated, horticulturists said. Visitors flocked to see it.

The flower grows in the wild only in the rain forests of Sumatra, Indonesia.

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(c)2014 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


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