Sweet Bud~

Why doth thou,

stink so much?

This is the flower bud of a corpse plant, named for the rancid corpse like smell the flower emits when it blooms. The smell attracts carrion beetles who pollinate the flower. The flower itself is the tallest in the world and can grow up to twelve feet in the wild. You can get a sense of how huge the bud is by comparing it to the exit door in the first photo, and the child in the second. It grows only on the island of Sumatra and is extremely endangered with about 1000 of the plants left in the wild. The flower bud grows six inches a day, and when it blooms, the flower only lasts for 48 hours. There are two of these flowers at The San Diego Botanic Garden. Watch the first one bloom in a time lapse video below filmed by Botanic Garden staff, appropriately enough, on Halloween:

This plant reminds me of the Saturday Sci Fi movies I used to watch as a kid! The plant takes about ten years to bloom, and will only bloom every four-ten years thereafter. It’s corm can weigh 339 pounds! As the flower begins to bloom, the temperature of parts of the flower rise by up to 10 degrees Celsius in a process called thermogenesis. The second bud at the San Diego Botanic Garden is due to bloom around Thanksgiving. The garden stays open until midnight during the bloom and 5000 people queued to see the first flower! People drive from out of state to see it.

Notice the detail of the bud petals. It looks a bit like a giant Bok choy!

This is the base of the first flower that bloomed. The female flowers are the red ones on the bottom, and the males are the brown ones above. It is the male flowers that rise in temperature during the bloom.

Cheers to you from the soon to bloom, very tall, and very stinky corpse flower~

236 thoughts on “Sweet Bud~

  1. I so enjoyed your tribute to the corpse plant, Cindy. You did a good job pointing out the immensity of it, with the words and images. And I had a fun chuckle in the opening lines. Great fun, and wonderful to see yet another marvel of Earth.

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  2. I’ve heard of these but never seen one — thank you for showing me, Cindy. And I’m really glad the Internet doesn’t have a “scent button” because I understand these flowers have an awful smell to them!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Absolutely stunning. I am constantly gobsmacked by nature. Years ago I lived way up north in a small very old cabin. There came this horrible smell. I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from and was afraid that some critter had crawled into the wall space and died there. It was nasty. Then I got it! An indoor plant I’d had for a long time was flowering for the first time and the flowers stank!
    Alison

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Stinky flower sounds like an oxymoron, lol, but this is fascinating. I’ve heard of them but didn’t know this much about them, it’s amazing they get so big and go through such a process and bloom so infrequently! Such an amazing plant. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Wow, to have the opportunity to see this would be something special. Almost twenty years ago I was able to witness the blooming of the ‘Queen of the Night” flower which was very cool – and became aware of rare plants at that time. This stinky flower you’ve captured brilliantly here is the holy grail for seekers of rare plants πŸ™‚ Beautifully done.

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    • Ahhhh……. So good to hear from you! How wonderful that you saw the blooming Queen of the Night. There is a night blooming cactus at The Holler that looks very similar to The Queen of the Night, but it is a desert, not jungle flower. I hope all is going well with you Randall დ

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  6. Another stinky flower is that of the PawPaw tree, which we grow. It is pollinated by flies. Thus, the flowers smell like, literally, shit. Flies love it. We live in the woods, where PawPaws grow as understory trees, so we have lots of fresh air to dispute the smell, plus our animals make lots of manure, so our place smells like shit anyway. Great fruit in September. – Oscar

    Liked by 2 people

  7. What an amazing plant! So huge, and I love the texture created by the bok choy-like petals. We were at the botanical gardens this summer, and I enjoyed all the varigated leaves, but don’t remember the corpse plant. Of course it wasn’t in bloom and may not have been too much to look at?

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  8. I am in awe, this is so fascinating 😁, nature is a constant delight and miracle. Lastly, I turned -the second image posted- upside down because I saw something. Ah! A woman wearing a lovely thin pleated skirt standing in the wind πŸ˜„. A post of wonder!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Not my kind of sweet bud…but amazing flora here as well we have this in our botanical conservatory…people have lined up to smell it πŸ₯΄the floral patterns of green are amazing Cindy ~ sending joy hedy β˜ΊοΈπŸ’«

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  10. They really are the wildest plants, aren’t they? We have one in the greenhouse at our university, and there’s one in a conservatory in Vancouver where my dad and family live. So, I’ve been “lucky” enough to witness one of these blooming in two different places. πŸ˜‚ I didn’t go see them in person while they were blooming because I don’t need to experience the smell. LOL!

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  11. What a fascinating plant although I haven’t seen it they do grow wild in Khao Sok National Park in Thailand but they are well protected and you can only be taken to the site by a guide to ensure they are not touched or taken…Stunning images and film πŸ™‚ x

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