It’s an exciting spring up ahead for The New York Botanical Garden! Apart from a stunning Orchid Show, the garden is host to a flower, known as the “corpse flower,” that blooms once every several years. With our luck, 2023 is one of those years!
The corpse flower, its scientific name being the Amorphophallus titanum, is currently on display in the Enid A. Haupt conservatory. NYBG just announced that the flower began blooming late last night on Monday, April 3rd. The flower blooms for a duration between 24-36 hours. In cultivation, it is expected to grow to six to eight feet, but in it’s natural habitat can grow up to a staggering 12 feet!
The flower’s elusive nickname is credited to its stench which has often been described as rotting meat. According to officials at the garden, the smell is meant to attract pollinators who feast on dead animals.
A corpse flower will take 7-10 years to store enough energy for a bloom cycle, and it’s growth rate is sporadic, making it one of nature’s most unpredictable and alluring plants. The last time the public got to see its full bloom was in 2016, but before that, it was nearly 80 years ago in 1936.
Over two million people in 2016 witnessed the rare event, either online or in person at the NYBG. The flower is considered to be in full bloom once the spathe, or the large petal that wraps around the middle (a spiky center known as the spadix), is completely unfurled.
Visitors can view this rare flower in person by purchasing an All-Garden Pass. Snag a ticket, and maybe you’ll be amongst the lucky crowd that will witness the “corpse” come alive. Otherwise, you can watch the live link of it blooming on Youtube here.
More information about the flower’s bloom are currently here on the NYBG website.