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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Corpse Flower at Huntington Botanical Gardens

I learned about the rare, smelly "Corpse" flower set to bloom from an email I received.  They call it "Corpse" flower because it emits bad odor, maybe similar to a rotting flesh. This would mark the fifth time the plant has bloomed since 1999 at Huntington. The last time was in 2011. 

The bulb, ready to bloom, was at the botanical gardens of Huntington Library in San Marino a 20-minute drive from my home.  I called there and I learned that the growth of the bulb was recorded everyday on their website.  The Plant is native to the tropical rainforest of Sumatra, Indonesia. In its natural habitat the flower can grow up to 12 feet tall.  Outside of its natural habitat the plant grows up to 6 feet tall.

On Friday August 22, the Huntington posted on its Facebook page, "Today might be the day!"  But the flower opened the following day on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 pm.  

I arrived on Sunday at 11:30 am.  The stinky flower had drawn a huge crowd.  The  line to buy a ticket lasted about 20 minutes.  And then it took me another half an hour to enter the greenhouse to see the plant.  

While waiting to get into the green house, we didn't get a whiff of rotting corps. I guess the flower smells only at the time of opening.  Standing in line I met Patricia with her two sons. They were from Frezno.  They were there because one of her sons had to take a college entry exam in LA. Patricia said, she was there when in 1999 for the first time the flower bloomed  in Huntington. 

Mission accomplished!  My curiosity was satisfied.  I saw the mysterious flower up close, snapped a few pictures and posted on my Facebook.  Now after a week I'm posting on my blog.