The Huntington Gardens says today may be the day that its corpse flower opens, marking only the fifth time the plant has bloomed since 1999. The plant that emits a powerful stinky odor has grown to a height of 5 feet 3 inches as of Friday and shows signs of popping.
"The continued slow-down of upward growth combined with a visibly swelling girth are good signs that the corpse flower is almost ready for showtime," the Huntington posted on its Facebook page late this morning. "Today might be the day!"
Experts at the gardens in San Marino most recently predicted bloom time to be between Friday and Sunday. The Huntington has been watching the plant and waiting for it to unfold since last week.
Seeing a Titan Arum, or corpse plant, is rare and mysterious, experts say. The Huntington has been watching and waiting since last week. Since then, it was put on display at the entrance to the conservancy, and visitors have come by to snap photos and selfies.
When the plant opens, its ruffle of red leaves could reach 3 to 4 feet in diameter -- and it will emit a stench that smells like rotting flesh. The stink is meant to attract pollinators, which works in the tropical forests of its native Sumatra.
The Huntington will be open regular hours for the public to see the plant (10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) and 5:30 to 8 p.m. for members. (Members also receive an email when the bloom happens.)