The New York Botanic Garden's corpse flower is blooming right now! Just six days after announcing they had a new Amorphophallus titanum on display, the thing has opened up, releasing its intense, pungent fragrance.
Just check out the live cam:
The garden laid out the timeline: "Horticulturists noticed that a six-inch-tall flower bud had formed on Friday, June 1. In the beginning of the bloom cycle, a titan-arum grows four to six inches each day. By June 18, 2018 the bud was 57 inches tall. Later, growth slows significantly. Two leaves at the base of the spathe shrivel and fall off. The spathe begins to open, revealing the red-purple color inside, and completely unfurls over the course of about 36 hours. During full bloom, the spadix self-heats to approximately human body temperature, which helps disseminate odor particles."
The Amorphophallus titanum is on display in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, and there are special hours for today, Wednesday, June 27, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. There's even going to be a "Corpse Flower Happy Hour" on the Conservatory Plaza at 5 p.m.
What's the big deal? Well, it takes years for corpse flowers to bloom. According to the NYBG, "Titan-arum blooms are rare and unpredictable. Each plant takes seven to ten years to store enough energy to bloom for the first time. This titan-arum is 11 years old... [It was] nurtured in the warm tropical zone of the Nolen Greenhouses. The hot and humid conditions in the greenhouse mimic the natural conditions of Sumatra. The plant must be watered and fertilized copiously."
People have differing opinions of what the flower smells like exactly, but Marc Hachadourian, Director of the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections at the NYBG, told us, "The chemical composition of the flower is actually similar to a number of terrible odors all mixed together from rotting fish to limburger cheese." It will pair nicely with your wine at tonight's happy hour.
And if you visit, be sure to linger for a bit, because the titan-arum "pulses" every few minutes, emitting more scent.
Update: Photographer David "Dee" Delgado visited the flower this morning and reports, "It's only one leaf so far so it smells like NYC garbage on a hot summer day."