Current status: The spadix has collapsed this morning on Friday, July 21. The corpse flower will be on display through this weekend.
Photo taken: Friday, July 21
This specimen was acquired in 2013 and has been cared for in the Conservatory’s production greenhouse. This is the first time it has produced a bloom. When fully opened it will release a stench similar to rotting flesh, which attracts its pollinators of flies and beetles. This bloom will be open only for one to two days before the plant collapses into a dormant state. It will be several years before the titan arum flowers again. This current corpse flower measures at around 4 feet tall.
While the stunningly smelly corpse plants are becoming more popular, this particular species of amorphophallus is particularly unique because of its size. Its bloom is considered the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world.
If you enjoyed Bob Smellanor, the Amorphophallus titanum (aka corpse flower) that bloomed at the Conservatory in 2020, you won’t want to miss this!
The Amorphophallus titanum is endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It is native only to the Sumatran rainforests in Indonesia, where its population is currently decreasing. It is uncommon even in cultivation, as it is difficult to care for due to a variety of reasons — one being the size. In its vegetative (non-flowering) state, it can reach up to 20 feet tall. It is also infamous for being finicky and unpredictable, and can quickly succumb to rot. Cultivation also requires a lot of patience, as this plant will cycle through many vegetative states before flowering — a process that can sometimes take up to a decade. Reproducing the plant poses even more challenges, as it does not self-pollinate.