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Arts and Entertainment

Huntington Library's Repulsive Corpse Flower Set To Bloom For The First Time Since 2010

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If you're looking to do something both unique and unpleasant, the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Garden in San Marino expects their fifth Corpse Flower to bloom this week. Plant enthusiasts are waiting with bated breath for this stinky Royal Baby of the plant world to make its rare showing—and Huntington's first bloom since 2010. The Amorphophallus titanium, or the Titan Arum, is known as the 'Corpse Flower' on account of its repulsive odor. In photos, this majestic flower looks just fine. The largest flower in the world, it can reach up to 6 feet tall and opens to a diameter of 3-4 feet. The plant is native to Indonesia, but Huntington received a bulb from a collector.

Huntington's first bloom was in 1999 and they called it 'Big Stinky.' Botanists used the plant's own pollen to hand-pollinate the plant, which resulted in seeds and fruit. In the plant's native environment, it would be pollinated by bugs and insects that were attracted to its odor.

The plant then bloomed again in 2002. In 2009, one of the seedlings from the first bloom was able to flower. There was a fourth and final flowering, until now, in 2010.

It would appear that the flower is growing rapidly this year. Huntington has been keeping track and sharing via their Twitter and Instagram. Recently, the flower grew 4.5 inches in just one night!

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The Corpse Flower is likely to bloom sometime between August 20 and 23. Once it does, it will only last for one to two days. To celebrate this rare occasion, you can buy Corpse Flower shirts:

And here's a video from the Huntington's first Corpse Flower bloom in 1999:

Since there's no concrete date and time set for when exactly the flower will bloom, you can keep track on Huntington's Twitter here.