A Second Bloom for Denver's Corpse Flower

Posted by West + Main Homes on Sunday, August 19th, 2018 at 9:58am.

Stinky, the Gardens' beloved corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum), may give Denver a second smelly bloom!

We love things that are iconic to Denver, and Stinky is definitely one of those things. 

While there is always the possibility the bloom will not be successful, horticulturists predict the event will occur early September, 2018. Prime viewing will be only 24 hours. The approximately 18-year-old plant can be viewed in the Orangery greenhouse, adjacent to Marnie's Pavilion. Stinky first bloomed in August 2015, marking the Gardens' first corpse flower bloom in its history. A different plant, Little Stinker, bloomed in 2016.

Horticulturists are measuring the plant daily. It will grow to be more than 5 feet tall. The corm is larger than in 2015, causing horticulturists to believe the plant will be taller and the bloom larger.

The Gardens will maintain regular hours during the bloom, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. On the bloom day, Gardens members can enter an hour early at 8 a.m.

 

The corpse flower bloom, native to rainforests of western Sumatra (an Indonesian island), has a foul odor that resembles decaying flesh. The potency of the aroma increases from late evening until the middle of the night and tapers off as morning arrives. It will not smell until it blooms. The smell is produced to attract flies and carrion beetles for pollination. While blooming, the spadix (the large spike) warms to 98 degrees, further vaporizing the odor and increasing the range from which pollinators are attracted.

Find more information on the Denver Botanic Gardens website, and sign up for the Gardens Botanic Buzz e-newsletter to receive a "Bloom Alert."

Photo credits to the Denver Botanic Gardens.

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