You may have heard that the Amorphallus titanum, also known as the Corpse Flower, is in full bloom at the United States Botanic Garden as we speak. This giant, seven foot flower gets its pet name from the pungent scent it gives off during this 24-48 hour bloom period. Described as a mix of ‘garbage, fish, diapers, garlic, and rotting meat,’ it’s not one for the faint-hearted or weak-stomached.
As the Corpse flower opens, the spadix (center tower structure) can reach temperatures of around 100 degrees, which drastically increases the potency of the stench. Today is the peak day for this Corpse flower smell. With that said, the United States Botanic Garden plans to stay open until 11:00 p.m. tonight, when the scent is projected to be the strongest. WARNING: Some have been known to gag at this peak hour.
I had the pleasure of visiting the flower this morning, when the bloom began. As my friend said, “We got the flavor, but not the intensity.” As awful as it smelled then, I cannot imagine how it will be this evening.
I highly encourage all to visit the Corpse Flower today, as it only blooms a few times every decade…and it will start wilting by tomorrow.
Can’t make it to the USBG? You can watch the live stream HERE.