Corpse flowers only bloom once a decade or so, and when they do they stink, like putrid flesh, hence the name.
“A Rare Affair”
Toronto’s Zoo is billing the wonder as “A Rare Affair:” and one it wasn’t expecting so soon.
Paul Gellatly, the curatorial gardener at the zoo, told the CBC’s Matt Galloway that the zoo was given five of the flowers in 2013, from the Niagara Parks Commission.
Now, much to their amazement, one of the flowers is ready to bloom, sometime this week.
And when it’s getting ready to bloom, the corpse flower grows with incredible speed. In the last week and a half the plant put on 35 inches.
Native to Indonesia and Sumatra the Corpse Flower grows in forests there, but is now on the endangered species list, as the forests are being cleared for palm oil plantations in Sumatra.
“The horticultural equivalent to Panda Bears”
And about that stink, people line up to get a sample.
Paul Gellatly, has never had the actual experience himself, yet; but he described what he’s heard: “it’s sort of a cross between a corpse, a little bit of feces, mothballs, it’s really not a pleasant smell,” he said, but “thousands and thousands of people line up whenever these bloom around the world, just to smell that.”
He compared it to opening a bag of meat from your refrigerator that had gone bad.
Gellatly said it’s “the horticultural equivalent to Panda Bears”, that they’re rare, “they don’t come around very often”
200 to 250 of the flowers have bloomed in the entire world. and the only reason they bloom is to pollinate
Toronto’s Zoo is preparing for thousands of visitors any moment now.
It is extending opening hours to midnight to accommodate viewing and sniffing, and it will cost people $12 (Cdn) for the experience.
The plant will bloom for only about 36 hours.