You can now glimpse — and smell — the rare, giant ‘corpse flower’ bloom at San Diego Botanic Garden
Ticket reservations are required to see San Diego’s corpse flower, which stretches about 4 feet tall
If you hurry, you can experience a giant, smelly and rare plant bloom that happens only once every few years and lasts only a couple of days.
Admired by botanists as a beautiful “stinking wonder,” the so-called “corpse flower” plant is now in bloom at the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas. The garden is offering extended opening hours Monday and Tuesday for the rare event.
The amorphophallus titanum, native to Sumatran rainforests, is nicknamed “corpse flower” because of its foul odor like that of rotting meat. The stench lures pollinating insects that are attracted to carcasses, such as carrion beetles and flies. The flower’s tall spadix, or collection of tiny flowers shaped into a spike, also produces heat to propel the odor further and attract more pollinators.
“The corpse flower is the smelly rock star of the plant world,” said San Diego Botanic Garden president and CEO Ari Novy in a statement. “Its putrescence attracts pollinators in its native habitat in Sumatra, Indonesia, while also attracting curious humans from around the world excited to experience this beautiful, stinky, giant inflorescence.”
Corpse flower blooms are rare occurrences. It can take seven to 10 years for a plant to produce its first bloom, and subsequent blooms may only happen once every few years. The blooms are fleeting, lasting only two or three days. This is the first time since November 2021 that the San Diego Botanic Garden has had a corpse flower bloom.
The plant is classified as endangered, and there are fewer than 1,000 left in the wild, according to the botanic garden. About 500 exist in botanic gardens and private collections. The San Diego Botanic Garden’s current corpse flower is on loan from the Fullerton Arboretum.
The garden is open for extended hours on Monday until midnight, with last entry at 11 p.m., and on Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Ticket reservations are required. Admission for nonmembers costs $10 to $18.
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