News Column

'Corpse flower' blooms at Missouri Botanical Garden

June 30, 2014

By Stephen Deere Sdeere@post-Dispatch.Com 314-340-8116 Bailey Otto, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

June 30--The enormous "corpse flower" at the Missouri Botanical Garden is in bloom, emitting the odor for which it is famous.

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

The rare flower blooms only once every year or two.

The garden will hold special evening hours tonight from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. with the last entry at 1:30 a.m. There will be no charge for the evening hours. For visitors viewing the flower during regular hours, admission to the Missouri Botanical Garden is $8 for adults and free for children ages 12 and under. Members are free.

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

The blooms 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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Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

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