Corpse flower to rise again at the Huntington


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Prepare to hold your nose and wait in line. Another rare corpse flower is getting ready to bloom at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.

When the gigantic Amorphophallus titanum bloomed in 1999, it caused a sensation. Nearly 76,000 people lined up in the August heat to get a whiff of the foul smelling flower — at the time only the 11th recorded bloom in the United States in 100 years.


A second flowering in 2002 was equally popular. Then, last June, another of the famous flower’s offspring made its debut, pictured at right.

The Huntington’s tropical curator predicts the latest Amorphophallus titanum blossom will debut before Monday, June 7.

It won’t last long -- just a day or two before it collapses. ‘Prime time, and prime aroma, is the first night,’ said Lisa Blackburn of the Huntington’s communications department.

While last year’s flower reached 6-feet-9 inches, this year’s flower is looking a bit smaller. (It’s still shy of 3 feet tall right now.) But one thing promises to remain the same: the plant will smell really, really bad.

To check the current plant’s progress, click on the special page the Huntington has created for the plant.

-- Lisa Boone

Photo credits from top: Los Angeles Times; The Huntington

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