SAN MARINO (CNS) - Another corpse flower is about to bloom at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino and its progress can be viewed online.
The Huntington's indoor spaces remain closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. What The Huntington is dubbing as a virtual #BloomWatch can be experienced at www.huntington.org/corpse-flower.
The Amorphophallus titanum, also known as a Titan Arum, corpse flower and #StinkyPlant, has been called the world's largest flower, but is technically an “inflorescence,'' or a cluster of flowers. It can reach more than 8 feet in height when it blooms, opening to a diameter of 4 feet.
This one was 24 inches tall Thursday, two inches taller than Wednesday. A daily growth chart is posted on the website.
This will be the first time a corpse flower has bloomed at The Huntington since July 24, 2019.
When in one of its ultra-rare blooms, it gives off an odor akin to rotting flesh, attracting insects that pollinate the flowers deep inside.
According to Huntington spokeswoman Lisa Blackburn, the blooming plant produces two key gases -- dimethyl disulfide and dimethyl trisulfide -- that also are present in decomposing animals and vegetables.
What prompts a particular plant to start the blooming process largely remains a mystery, Blackburn said, but the corpse flower tends to bloom during hot weather.
When a corpse flower was first displayed at the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens in the late 19th century, at least one Victorian woman was said to have swooned when she got a whiff of the bloom.
The flower was first displayed in the United States in 1937 at the New York Botanical Garden.