Invasion of the corpse flower
Updated On: Jul 22 2013 05:37:51 PM CDT
Finally, we have a new arrival.
No, not the royal baby. A corpse flower.
The titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum) at the United States Botanic Garden Conservatory finally started blooming and stinking like rotting flesh at about 4 p.m. Sunday.
It may remain in bloom for 24 to 48 hours, and then it will collapse quickly.
The plant, which has lived at the garden since 2007, doesn't have an annual blooming cycle. This is its first-ever cycle, and dedicated fans might wait years or decades between cycles.
The garden is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday. If you can't make it to the nation's capital, watch it online on the garden's live flower cam.
Once the garden confirmed on July 8 that the plant was going to bloom, staffers moved quickly to display it publicly on July 11.
The plant tends to heat up, starts smelling stinky and usually blooms overnight or in the early morning hours. The heat and smell are to attract pollinator insects such as dung beetles in its natural habitat, said Ari Novy, the garden's public programs manager. The garden doesn't have any such beetles, but resident flies may visit, he said.
A native of Sumatra, Indonesia, this particular plant is part of the garden's collection of 14 corpse flowers. They are rarely put on display because they require a lot of heat and humidity, which is why they are grown at the garden's production greenhouses in Southeast Washington -- rarely open to the public.
The U.S. Botanic Garden last displayed a blooming titan arum in 2007. At least seven U.S. institutions have at least one titan arum in their collections.
The National Botanic Garden of Belgium saw its oldest corpse flower bloom earlier this month, attracting about 4,000 visitors over three days, said garden spokesman Franck Hidvegi. It previously bloomed in 2008 and 2011. The garden has another four plants in its greenhouses, but Hidvegi said they are still too young to bloom.
Copyright 2013 by CNN NewSource. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Friends React to Hit and Run Accident
Capps Aide Arrested in Near-Fatal DUI Hit and Run
World's Largest Computer Hacking Contest Happening at UCSB
Officer-Involved Shooting on Santa Barbara's Westside
Highway 154 Open, One Dead in Early-Morning Crash
Neighbors React to Actor Paul Walker's Death
Holiday Parade has Paradise Theme
Shooting at Discount Mall in Santa Maria
Slideshow: Santa Barbara Downtown Holiday Parade
Slideshow: 15 Mexican Drug Cartel Dealers Arrested