Rare Corpse Flower to Bloom this Weekend After 77 Years at the NY Botanical Garden

Amorphophallus titanum - "corpse flower" 

Amorphophallus titanum - "corpse flower" 

For the first time in almost 80 years, the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) will be displaying a blooming titan arum. The plant is known in latin as Amorphophallus titanum, and it is more colloquially called the "corpse flower" because of the infamous odor it emits when in bloom. The last time the NYBG displayed this unique plant was in 1939.  This plant is unpredictable, as it may be in flower for only one or two days. The amorphophallus titanum is a horticultural jewel 10 years in the making. The NYBG has been tending to it carefully and feeding it every day for over 10 years leading up to this moment: a brief, yet glorious window of time during which the enormous plant (up to eight feet high) will unfurl, displaying the striking red interior and uncanny scent to which it owes its name. 

Whenever this rare plant blooms, it causes a sensation. Maybe it's because it is known for having one of the largest inflorescences (a cluster of flowers arranged on a stem that is composed of a main branch or a complicated arrangement of branches) in the world, but more likely, it's because of the infamous odor it releases during its brief, 24–36-hour peak, similar to that of rotting flesh. The titan arum can only be found in the wild on the Indonesian Island of Sumatra, and it flowers even more infrequently and rarely in the wild. The tallest recorded specimen of this flower measured in at 10 ft. 2.25 in. in Gilford, New Hampshire, USA, in June 2010. 

The second specimen of the amorphophallus titanum from 1939 at the NYBG.

The second specimen of the amorphophallus titanum from 1939 at the NYBG.

If you're in the New York area this weekend, don't miss out on this rare opportunity to see the amorphophallus titanum in bloom! The NYBG will be updating its website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts leading up to the bloom, so that you'll know when to head over and see it in person. 

For more information go here: http://www.nybg.org/exhibitions/2016/corpse-flower.php

The current amorphophallus titanum waiting to bloom this weekend at the NYBG.

The current amorphophallus titanum waiting to bloom this weekend at the NYBG.

Article by Rajmani Sinclair on July 21, 2016