Smell, yeah! It's an event years in the making: There is an Amorphophallus titanum, more familiarly known as the corpse flower, blooming inside the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden. And the best time to experience the distinctive odor (some might say eau de rotting flesh) is Friday.
The NYBG said it originally thought the titan-arum flower bud would open on Friday or Saturday, "but the plant had other ideas!" It opened around 3 p.m. on Thursday, and the garden said, "We anticipate that the best time to experience it in person will be throughout the day, Friday, November 5."
The flower has previously been called "a fleeting spectacle of size, color, and odor unlike any other in the plant kingdom" by the NYBG. Once a bud is spotted, it can grow at the rate of four-to-six inches a day, getting up to five feet when it opens. And the buds are the product of anywhere from seven to 12 years of growing, with the titan-arum storing energy over the years to bloom.
Once the flower does bloom, it emits its stinky scent: The NYBG explains, "This scent, along with the deep-red, meaty color of the open spathe, attracts insect pollinators that feed on dead animals."
Marc Hachadourian, Director of the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections at the NYBG, previously told Gothamist, "The chemical composition of the flower is actually similar to a number of terrible odors all mixed together from rotting fish to limburger cheese." Or New York City garbage after a possible sanitation slowdown?
The New York Botanical Garden is open until 6 p.m. on Friday. Proof of vaccination is needed to enter indoor areas; more details here.