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Deathly-smelling Corpse Flower Now on Display at San Diego Botanic Garden

Encinitas CA—Characterized by a scent Morticia Addams might use as an intoxicating perfume, the deathly-smelling Amorphophallus titanum, also known as Titan Arum, is expected to be in bloom late next week at San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas. The plant will be on public display in SDBG’s Bamboo Garden starting today during regular business hours from 9 am – 5 pm daily. Admission prices are $14 for adults, $10 for students/seniors/military, $8 for children, and no admission charge for children under 2 years of age.

“If there is any plant that creates a stir when in flower, it certainly is the Titan Arum,” says SDBG President & CEO Julian Duval. “One cannot predict when it will bloom. Individual plants only bloom about every 5 to 10 years and from start to finish this amazing plant usually goes through the whole bloom cycle, producing its huge inflorescence in less than 30 days.

“It (Titus Arum bloom) changes almost hourly, so you need to see it in all its stages. Yes, it stinks. But it is also other-worldly beautiful.”

Due to its odor, which smells like a rotting corpse or carcass, the Titan Arum is characterized as a carrion flower. It is best known by its more common name as the ‘Corpse Flower.’ This plant grows in the rainforests of Sumatra. This is a climate that will be replicated at the Garden once the Dickinson Family Education Conservatory opens later this year, where the Garden hopes to have the Titan Arum as part of its permanent display.

In fact, SDBG owns 2 Titan Arum plants that look as if they will be ready to bloom in early June, right after this one!

Once this plant is in full bloom possibly next Thursday or Friday May 24 or 25, the Corpse Flower will be approximately 4 feet tall and emit its unique stench for only 1-2 days, so plan ahead because you don’t want to miss it!

Today, through the end of next week, the flower will continue to grow approximately 3 inches per day until attaining its peak bloom height and then finally open up to display its full glory.

This plant is currently on loan from California State University Fullerton. Edward Read, Manager of the Biology Greenhouse Complex at CSUF, loaned this wonderful specimen to the Garden – as he did another Corpse Flower that bloomed in early fall last year.

This specimen was grown from seed planted in 2007. The seed was obtained as a collaboration between SDBG, CSUF, Fullerton Arboretum, and community member James Booman. Mr. Booman lent his Corpose Flower for display at the garden in 2006. It was pollinated by the staff from Fullerton and Mr. Booman shared this seed with the pollen donors. Over a dozen plants have bloomed from seeds planted in 2007 by Mr. Read.

Come see – and smell soon! – this rare and unusual bloom TODAY at San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas.