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November 22, 2021

Corpse Flower - Encinitas

The “Corpse Flower” is indeed a ‘Stinking Beauty’!!! 

I was so totally unprepared to blog our outing to San Diego Botanical Gardens, I was only armed with a cell phone with low batteries, and Fran did not bring hers.  This turned out to be a SOOO blog worthy outing.

Corpse Flower

From their web page:

‘The corpse flower’s common name comes from the smell of the flowers, a rancid carrion scent that attracts the carcass-eating insects that pollinate it. The bloom of a corpse flower is a rare and special event, as most plants require seven to ten years to produce their first blooms and then bloom only every four to five years thereafter. The fully opened bloom lasts around 48 hours.

The flower spike of the corpse plant is the longest unbranched flower spike of any plant in the world. During the bloom, the massive floral spike (up to 12 feet tall, in the wild), which looks like one enormous flower, opens its deep red, petal-like spathe, to reveal hundreds of tiny flowers at the base of the spadix, the tall, yellow pillar of the structure. Each bloom spike has both female flowers, which are deep red, and male flowers, which are white. The spathe and spadix wilt within a few days of the bloom.’

The Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus titanum) a Sumatran endangered plant.  The plant last bloomed in 2018.  The single (up to) 12 foot bloom is the largest in the world.

To simulate its native Sumatran climate the plant is maintained in a large greenhouse. 

Other than the Corpse Flower, only the Bird of Paradise was in full bloom.

Fran and I took our time walking though the ‘Shade Plants’ section.  The north side of our house gets little to no sun ever.  We’ll have to check out this little ground cover from South Africa.

So how does the Corpse Flower really smell?  For sure it is not pleasant!  Our niece compares it to a dirty diaper.  With the good ventilation in the green house, I’d say more of a nasty fart.  While Fran did not smell it – I don’t blame her! 

We have visited the gardens before.  For more info on the San Diego Botanical Gardens follow the link.  I blogged a previous visit, which contains more flower photos HERE.
The garden has a time lapse video posted that shows the previous 24 hours.  View ’What a Difference a Day Makes’ HERE.

We're now preparing for a week on 'The Fun Side of the Wall'.  I'm sure we'll have a great Thanksgiving and I trust you will too.