San Diego

Last Chance to Smell Stinky ‘Corpse Flower' at San Diego Botanic Garden

In a rare occurrence, two of the flowers have bloomed just days apart at the San Diego Botanic Garden

Curious smellers who missed their chance to catch a whiff of the stinky "corpse flower" have been granted a new opportunity Thursday, with a second deathly plant in full bloom.

San Diego Botanic Garden officials say visitors enamored with the plant's nauseating stench of rotting flesh should come immediately, as the bloom may disappear anytime.

There is a third "corpse flower" at the garden but it's in an earlier part of its life cycle, said officials. They said it could be years before they see another "corpse flower" bloom. On this unique day, visitors can see all three of the plants in various stages of the bloom cycle.

A spokesperson for the garden, Lisa Reynolds, told NBC 7 the fact that the 'sister' plants bloomed within days of each other is a strange and unusual event.

“It’s very unusual that all of them would be blooming at the same time," said Reynolds. Both of the plants that bloomed this week had seeds harvested from the same parent plant, she said.

In Encinitas, the other-worldly plant, known as the Titan Arum, is on public display from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at the garden, located on 230 Quail Gardens Drive.

But the garden will remain open an extra hour Thursday night since the fleeting bloom is unlikely to last long. Garden officials said there is no time to wait if you want to experience its fascinating and uniquely repulsive odor.

The Garden team said the second, 4-foot-tall bloom is even more beautiful and stinky than the first on Tuesday. They believe the frilly leaves have opened wider and the scent is more pungent because they kept the plant in the greenhouse for a longer period of time.

To approach the foul-smelling flower, admission tickets are $14 for adults, $10 for students, seniors and military, and $8 for children. There is no charge for children under age 2.

“It (Titus Arum bloom) changes almost hourly, so you need to see it in all its stages," said President and CEO Julian Duval of the garden, in a statement. "Yes, it stinks. But it is also other-worldly beautiful.”

Currently, both plants that bloomed are on loan from California State University Fullerton (CSUF), said officials. The second plant was transported in a UHaul to San Diego on Wednesday. That also kept the plant warmer, which may have helped produce more energy for its bloom.

Last year, there were just a couple dozen blooms worldwide, reported BBC.

Due to its wicked stench, the Titan Arum is characterized as a carrion flower, according to the Botanic Garden. The plant originates in the tropical rainforests of Sumatra in western Indonesia.

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