Li'l Stinker, The Corpse Flower At The Huntington, Won't Be Blooming After All
It looks like Huntington botanical garden's glorious and smelly corpse flower won't be putting assaulting our olfactory neurons after all.
The plant was poised to put on a show this summer, but the botanical team at the Huntington said the corpse flower won't be blooming, according to statements they posted Wednesday on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Known as Li'l Stinker, the flower stalk is showing "signs of decay."
"Though it's impossible to say exactly why, here's what we do know—#StinkyPlants have the unique ability of knowing that if they lack the strength to fully bloom, they can stop the process and save their energy for a future bloom," the Huntington wrote on Instagram. "Though Li'l Stinker had showed promising signs of flowering, it appears that it just wasn't ready for the spotlight."
Sad news, flower fans. We've determined that the #CorpseFlower isn't going to bloom. It didn't have enough energy for the job. The Botanical staff will open the inflorescence today to learn more, and we plan to share the process live on Facebook at 11am @ https://t.co/wPsBfolrQT pic.twitter.com/uWDUoKns97— The Huntington (@TheHuntington) August 8, 2018
The team instead spent Wednesday morning dissecting the plant to learn more about what happened. You can watch the dissection via Facebook Live below.
The Huntington gave an update on the results of the dissection on Instagram. The botanical team didn't find a definitive reason for why the bloom didn't happen, but it gathered samples of plant parts to study further. It also collected samples of a "potential mold or fungus found within the plant" to test some more.
Meanwhile, this isn't the end of Li'l Stinker. The corm — the source of the corpse flower's energy — remains alive beneath the soil, where it can produce another bloom someday.
This story has been updated.