If You Smelt It, The Corpse Flower Dealt It
A corpse flower bloomed at the New York Botanical Garden. Its smell lives up to its name.
Behold the mighty corpse flower. This massive flower, native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra and weighing up to 200 pounds, is aptly named. While its rotten scent is utterly repulsive to humans, the flower smells like a delicious meal to insect pollinators that feed on dead animals.
The plant rarely blooms—it happens once every 7 to 10 years, lasting only 36 hours—so when it happened in Science Friday’s backyard, we had to smell it for ourselves.
The SciFri staff recently took a trip out to the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, New York to catch a whiff of this massive, stinky flower so you didn’t have to. We spoke to Marc Hachadourian, the Director of The NYBG’s Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections, who told us how it has “mastered the art of looking like a dead thing.”
Listen to the audio diary below as you scroll through the photos.