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Making a Stink Over the Huntington's Corpse Flower

A Corpse Flower that made a similar stink in NH in 2006 (Photo by Slabcity Gang via Flickr)
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Something is clearly afoul over at the historic Huntington in San Marino. Nothing is wrong, actually. But all eyes--and noses--are on one rare bloom in particular: The Corpse Flower.It's technically called the Amorphophallus titanum. Blooming once with much fanfare in 1999, then again in 2002, the current one is a relative of the original, having been propagated from seed produced by its 1999 parent. These flowers can reach over 6 feet tall, and have a diameter of 3-4 feet when it blooms. "But the plant is perhaps most famous--or infamous--for its exceptionally foul odor. Hence the nickname, Corpse Flower," explains a Huntington press release. How stinky? Well, many liken the aroma to that of rotting flesh.

Right now the Corpse Flower is "growing at a rate of several inches a day," (it's now 5'4") and seems poised to bloom. If you can handle the stench, the Huntington expects it to open up between June 10th and 15th. It only lasts a couple of days, though, as once it "reaches full bloom the tall spadix collapses from its own weight and withers away."

Check with the Huntington to see if its ready for viewing...and smelling. You can see it on display at the Huntington's Rose Hills Foundation Conservatory for Botanical Science.