The Corpse Flower vigil is on at The Huntington Library!
An “inflorescence,” the specialized structure that supports small individual flowers, has emerged from the Titan Arum plant – scientific name, Amorphophallus titanum – at The Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, and it’s getting ready to bloom and emit the foul odor that has earned the plant its name and fame.
That’s why The Huntington has started a live YouTube broadcast that’s focused on the plant, where the Library’s 12th Corpse Flower has emerged and is now more than 17 inches in height.
“Summer has arrived, and with it, a very stinky surprise. Our 12th Corpse Flower to date has emerged, and it’s a big’un! Appropriately named ’Stankosaurus Rex,’ it grew another 6 inches last night, making it 71 INCHES TALL,” a post on the Corpse Flower watch page said.
As of now, no one knows when it will bloom, or how big it will get, but the smelly flower was available for limited in-person viewing starting Monday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Conservatory.
Only the front of the Conservatory (where the Corpse Flower is located) will be open to visitors. Reservations are not required weekdays, but capacity in the Conservatory will be limited.
For others who’d rather join the watch online, you can go to The Huntington’s YouTube channel, and watch the Corpse Flower bloom from the comfort of your own home. You’ll miss the smell, though.
Aside from watching the livestream, you can check The Huntington’s social media channels for updates and ticketing info when it blooms.
The Titan Arum has been called the world’s largest flower, with a bloom that can grow to more than eight feet in height and four feet in diameter. A rare tropical plant native to the equatorial rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia, the Corpse Flower is so called because it exudes a foul stench that smells like rotting flesh.
The Indonesians call it Bunga Bangkai, which literally means “corpse flower.” The plant grows from a large corm, a bulb-like tuber, under the soil. The visible parts are the spadix, the fleshy upright column, and the spathe, the petal-like outer covering.
When the plant blooms, the spathe opens to reveal a velvety maroon interior and begins to emit a foul stench, earning it the nickname, “Stinky Plant.”
At the peak of its growth, the Stinky Plant can grow up to six inches a day.
For more information about the Corpse Flower watch at The Huntington, visit www.huntington.org/corpse-