Sunday, May 19

Rare, exotic plant with ‘rotting flesh’ aroma set to bloom for first time in years

An infrequent botanical event is about to take place at Como Park Conservatory in Minnesota, but the exciting news stinks — literally.

A corpse flower, nicknamed “Horace” by Como officials, will have its first bloom since arriving in 2019 at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in St. Paul.

The flowering plant has an off-putting aroma that may have spectators reaching for nose plugs.

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“Rare and rancid, this odorous event is not to be missed… unless you’re faint of heart or nose,” Matt Reinartz, marketing and public relations manager at Como, told Fox News Digital.

“It’s a rare sight with an even rarer aroma – think rotting flesh meets curiosity,” he said.

Those interested in seeing the flower in person are able to attend the conservatory’s Exhibit Gallery every day from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

“We’re betting on a blooming extravaganza by May 19th, but you know how these plants like to keep us guessing!” the conservatory’s website said.

If you would rather keep an eye on the flower from afar, the conservatory has set up a livestream, so you can watch “as Horace unfurls its massive, unbranched inflorescence and emits its distinctive scent of rotting flesh, all from the comfort of your own screen,” conservatory officials shared in a news announcement.

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The livestream has already been set up, so people can check in as often as they wish to witness the moment.

“While they won’t get to experience the rare, horrific odor, they can witness this once-in-a-generation event, live,” Reinartz added.

The corpse flower, amorphophallus titanum, can take four to 10 years to bloom, but the results are short-lived, according to Britannica.

“Although the inflorescence develops over several months, with its growth peaking at a rate of up to 15 cm (6 inches) a day, it only blooms for around 24–48 hours,” the online encyclopedia’s article says.

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Those who witness the botanical event will be able to see the different stages the flower goes through within that short period of bloom.

“While in bloom, the structure generates heat, more than 90 °F (32 °C), and produces its characteristic carrion odor to attract flesh flies and carrion beetles for pollination,” Britannica’s article states.

“The fertilized flowers develop into bright red to orange spherical fruits, and the spathe and the upper spadix collapse away to facilitate their dispersal, commonly by rhinoceros hornbills (Buceros rhinoceros) and other animals. Eventually the remaining structure withers and the plant goes dormant,” according to the same source.

This foul-smelling floral is native to the rain forests of Sumatra, but it can be found in botanical gardens all around the world.

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If you are a true botany lover, this unique event might be something you won’t want to miss.

“We wholeheartedly celebrate this remarkable botanical event and hope to raise awareness about the importance of preserving endangered species and their habitats,” Reinartz said.

You can tune in live to see the flower and hopefully catch it blooming by visiting https://comozooconservatory.org/horace.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

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