Inside of the garden in the San Diego Botanic Garden stands out a plant that, for today, looks like a missile.
In a couple of days, give or take, that plant will probably be taking off a smell that is not quite as lethal as a missile — but fairly close and will be green.
The plant, Amorphophallus titanium, which is best known by its nickname ‘Corpse Flower,’ is known for the stench it arouses (some say it smells like a dead animal or sterile flesh) and its spectacularly fast blooming peak.
It is the first time the backyard has had a corpse flower since 2006 on display.
The Botanic Garden has the plant on loan and CEO Julian Duval and Garden President said the plant is expected to bloom this weekend, which ought to draw massive audiences.
“It’s clearly one of the real phenomena of this plant kingdom,” Duval said on Thursday. “It’s these odd, unpredictable blooming phases also it looks otherworldly.”
When it blooms, the large pod, called a spadix, will turn yellowish, and the leaves that are large thickly wrapped around it is going to bloom into flaps.
Along with the plant will begin to pulse the stench, which Duval stated is a pheromone that brings it to be pollinated by dung beetles from the plant’s native Sumatran rain forest habitat.
The plant will only bloom for a brief period — the trademark scent lasting two days in the least — and the entire bloom cycle lasts less than a month.
Audiences were flocking to capture a glimpse, before it reached its bloom.
On Thursday, Shari Garrett and sisters Barb Moore, who Reside in Chicago and Scripps Ranch respectively, listened as Duval explained the life cycle of this plant.
“It’s amazing, we’re really lucky to have it so near blooming,” Garrett explained.
“It’s quite a paradox when it blooms because it is so lovely, yet gives off such a filthy odor,” Moore stated. “I wish to return just to smell it.”