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Corpse flower
Photograph: Rhododendrites on Wikimedia

The smelly corpse flower is about to bloom at the New York Botanical Garden

The Amorphophallus titanum is known as the "corpse flower" because of its horrific smell.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

A nasty rotting smell is about to permeate the New York Botanical Garden’s Haupt Conservatory’s Aquatic House!

The NYBG has just announced that it is expecting its Amorphophallus titanum, known as the “corpse flower” given its horrific smell, to bloom in the next week or so.

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Although there's no way to know exactly when the exciting happening will take place, you can actually tune into the garden's live camera feed right here to monitor the current status of affairs. 

Considering that the bloom life cycle of the flower lasts a pretty short 36 hours, you might want to really keep an eye on that feed and dash to the garden as soon as you notice some movement. There’s nothing like experiencing that rancid smell in person, after all. 

The last time an Amorphophallus titanum bloomed at (NYBG) was in 2021. The garden reports that the event attracted thousands upon thousands of visitors—and for good reason: according to experts, it can take up to 10 years for the flower to begin its bloom cycle.

The plant, which is native to the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, has a powerful stench similar to that of rotting meat,” according to NYBG. The smell is actually meant to attract insect pollinators that feed on dead animals. The color of the flower, a deep red, is also meant to achieve the same goal.

A bit more about the odd but oh-so-interesting flower: boasting the largest unbranched flower structure in the plant world, the Amorphophallus titanum features a central spike called spadix that “bears small flowers in rings around its base.” That spadix, wrapped in a leaf called a spathe, can grow up to 12 feet tall. When ready to bloom, the spathe opens up to showcase interior flowers. The whole process takes seven years or more to unravel. This specific flower is actually 12 years old!

We suggest you secure yourself an all-access pass to the garden right now, so that you could easily gain entry into the conservatory when the time is right. 

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