‘Corpse Flower' Ready to Bloom at Huntington Library


Photo: Getty Images

SAN MARINO (CNS) - Another corpse flower is about to bloom at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino and is on track to claim the title as the library's biggest.

Stankosaurus Rex grew six inches Sunday night to 71 inches, according to Susan Turner-Lowe, The Huntington's vice president for communications & marketing.

It is not known when it will bloom. Limited in-person viewing is available during public hours in the Conservatory. The Conservatory is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and closed Tuesdays.

Only the front of the Conservatory (where the corpse flower is located) is open to visitors.

Reservations are not required to visit weekdays, but capacity in the Conservatory will be limited. Reservations are required for weekends and Monday holidays.

A live stream of the corpse flower is available atwww.huntington.org/corpse-flower. This will be the 12th corpse flower to bloom at The Huntington since August 1999.

The Amorphophallus titanum, also known as a Titan Arum and corpse flower, 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.

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.

The blooming plant produces two key gases -- dimethyl disulfide and dimethyl trisulfide -- that also are present in decomposing animals and vegetables, Turner-Lowe said.

What prompts a particular plant to start the blooming process largely remains a mystery, Turner-Lowe 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.

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