Biggest corpse flower in U.S. Botanic Garden history begins to open

U.S. Botanic Garden houses three corpse flowers on the verge of blooming. At peak bloom, the flowers will release a rotting stench. Video by: Elizabeth Jia, WUSA9

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - What a stink! The third and final corpse flower has started to open, Monday, 8/28/17. The smelly bloom stands at almost 100 inches or over 8 feet tall, a record for the U.S. Botanic Garden.   

The U.S. Botanic garden will have extended hours until 10 p.m. Monday night. 

In the last two weeks crowds have come to see the two other smelly corpse flowers that opened and released their stench. 

It's an unprecedented event in North America to feature three blooming corpse flowers at once, according to Susan Pell of the USBG. 

The corpse flower, also called “the stinky plant,” is famous for its large size, pungent odor, and unpredictable bloom, according to the USBG.



Once they open the blooms last 24 to 48 hours and have an interesting smell -- some say it's a combination of garlic, fish, diapers, and rotting meat.

More fun facts about the corpse flower:

  • It's the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world – reaching up to 12 feet tall in the wild.
  • The corpse flower has hundreds of flowers located it's base, known as the spadix.
  • It gets its name from the putrid scent it emits while in bloom to attract pollinators like the carrion beetle and flies.
  • The plant, first known to science in 1878, is native to tropical rainforests of Indonesia.

You can track the blooms progress here: http://www.USBG.gov/CorpseFlower

The U.S. Botanic Garden is open to the public, free of charge, every day of the year from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On August 17-21, the Conservatory will stay open for extended hours while the corpse flower is on display, and will stay open until 10 p.m. during peak bloom days.

The Conservatory is located at 100 Maryland Ave. SW, on the southwest side of the U.S. Capitol. 

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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