Another day, another rare Amorphophallus titanum ready to bloom and stinkify the air in its general vicinity, right?
Well, not quite. The so-called Corpse Flower is not your garden variety carnation -- sorry, carnations, you actually rock and deserve a renaissance -- and it doesn't come along all that often.
Exhibit A? Our own world-class Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, the ultimate cream of the unusual blossom-possessing crop in many flower fans' eyes, has only housed four Corpse Flowers, ever.
Make that five: Stinky 5 is currently holding court at the San Marino institution, and the flower's much-anticipated bloom is set to occur between Wednesday, Aug. 20 and Saturday, Aug. 23.
If you know the gargantuan and elegantly eerie Corpse Flower, you know this: It does not wear a wristwatch and it shall not be rushed into blooming before it is good and ready to do so. Also know this: When it finally does open it up, its foul whiff shall cause many a face to contort.
Prepare, noses of Southern California.
Stinky 5 -- or, if you prefer, Stinky the Fifth, which seems more suitable, given the royal subject matter of many of The Huntington's paintings -- is currently passing its pre-blooming, anticipation-building time in The Conservatory. Want to keep tabs? Instagram and Twitter are your tab-keeping go-tos. Look for frequent updates, fun photos, and such.
Amorphophallus titanum is "(n)ative to the equatorial rain forests of Sumatra" and "can reach more than 6 feet in height," says the institution. The plant "can also go many years without blooming," so the anticipation in the soon-to-be-stinky air is, yes, palpable.
The Huntington is also posting a daily height watch here, so that's fun, if you like strange flowers with wicked odors that are rare as all get-out. And who doesn't?
And, seriously, flower people: Can't we give carnations a chance? Not ironically, either. None of us will ever wear a Corpse Flower corsage, meaning carnations deserve a little more respect.