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World’s Largest and Stinkiest Flower Blooms at Huntington Botanical Gardens

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World’s Largest and Stinkiest Flower Blooms at Huntington Botanical Gardens

Visitors gather to see and smell the Corpse Flower during its brief bloom, as it is displayed at the Botanical Gardens section of the Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif., on Aug. 28, 2023. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

Carol Cassis

Carol Cassis

8/25/2023

Updated: 8/28/2023

Hundreds of visitors have been stopping by The Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, in hopes of seeing the fleeting bloom of the very special, and stinky, 5-foot tall “corpse” flower.
Located in the gardens’ conservatory—which acts as a man-made indoor rainforest—is the Amorphophallus titanum, or corpse flower, which started blooming on Aug. 27, according to Huntington staff.
The reason for its dark nickname is because of the flower’s “stinky” smell once it blooms. Once it does, it only stays open for two to three days before reverting back into a large “corn” seed, where it will await pollination once more on its way to blooming again.
After staff alerted the public that the blooming was imminent, visitors of all ages have been coming to the gardens daily to try and catch the exact moment when the smelly flower emerged.
“It’s pretty and ugly at the same time,” garden visitor Mia Toledano told The Epoch Times during her visit Aug. 24. “It almost looks like it’s from another planet, like Avatar or something.”
The stinky, 5-foot-tall Corpse Flower at Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, Calif., on Aug. 24, 2023, a few days before it bloomed. (Carol Cassis/The Epoch Times)

The stinky, 5-foot-tall Corpse Flower at Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, Calif., on Aug. 24, 2023, a few days before it bloomed. (Carol Cassis/The Epoch Times)

The flower, commonly referred to as the world’s largest, is also affixed with a camera, which feeds to The Huntington’s website, where viewers can watch for the flower’s bloom live for free.
The flower in bloom is said by Huntington officials to be “as rare as it is spectacular,” due to each plant living for years sometimes without flowering. Because the event is so short, some travel from around the world hoping to see the moment one flowers.
“For botanists and the public, being ‘in the right place at the right time’ to see one of these magnificent plants in bloom can be a once-in-a-lifetime treat,” The Huntington said in a recent statement.
Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, Calif., on Aug. 24, 2023. (Carol Cassis/The Epoch Times)

Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, Calif., on Aug. 24, 2023. (Carol Cassis/The Epoch Times)

The Huntington was the site of the first known bloom of the species in California in 1999, when it was referred to as “the big stinker.” Then, it was only the 11th recorded such bloom in the United States.
During that bloom, Huntington botanists hand-pollinated the plant with its own pollen using a successful, yet experimental, technique, which resulted in producing several seedlings.
Today, after a number of other successful flowerings and self-pollinations, there are several generations of “little stinkers” in the Huntington’s greenhouses said to be “waiting for their moment to bloom.”
Visitors gather to see and smell the Corpse Flower during its brief bloom, as it is displayed at the Botanical Gardens section of the Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif., on Aug. 28, 2023. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

Visitors gather to see and smell the Corpse Flower during its brief bloom, as it is displayed at the Botanical Gardens section of the Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif., on Aug. 28, 2023. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

Carol Cassis

Carol Cassis

Author

California Insider
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