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If a plant is called “Stinky 1,“ you might already be on guard. This bloom is as rare as it is unforgettable.
The Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens on Hawaii Island announced the rare flowering of an Amorphophallus titanum today. The common name of the plant is far more colorful: it is known as the Corpse plant. The zoo press release explains that is “due to its distinctive odor when in full bloom. This “fragrance” resembles rotting meat, to attract carrion feeding beetles and Flesh Flies that pollinate it.”
For some reason, people want to see (and, presumably, smell) this plant. They are excited at the appearance of “the world’s largest un-branched inflorescence (flower).” They’ve been waiting for awhile. The zoo has two Corpse plants that were donated by artist Hiroshi Tagami nine years ago. They were about two years old then, so this is a once in 11 years occurrence.
The distinctive bloom is SIX FEET and “is located next to the feral pig and across from the large mixed parrot aviary.” I could not make this up. I have smelled pigs and from the description of the Corpse plant, swine would be an improvement in aroma.
Just in case you’re on the Big Island of Hawaii any time soon and want to experience the bloom in person, the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens is open daily from 9-4 except Christmas and New Year’s Day. I think this is one unique Hawaii flower I’ll be happy to experience vicariously.