Corpse flower

Once in a Lifetime

A notable botanical event bloomed nearby today. A Corpse Flower, or more properly Titan Arum, Amorphophallus titanum, bloomed at a local conservatory. It is an arum, a family of plants that booms with a spathe and spadix configuration. Our local relative, the native Skunk Cabbage, is also known for its putrid odor. I caught a brief whiff of the corpse flower; it indeed reminded me of a roadside deer carcass on a summer day. One had to get pretty close (well, as close as the display would allow) with the breeze the right direction to smell it; it certainly did not fill the room. The fragrance is said to diminish after about 12 hours or so, and I visited the flower about 12 hours after opening. The bloom will begin to fade within 24 to 48 hours. It may be a decade until it blooms again, but no one will know exactly when until it happens.

The gear used to day was the Nikon D90, and the very wide Tokina 11-16mm. It was a good day to be wide, to get this entire big flower in the shot uncropped, and to capture the scope of the venue with its crowd of people. It is a little hard to appreciate the crowd; the line coming in from the rear snakes through from the next building. It was probably a ten minute wait at this moment, and beginning to lengthen. That may not sound long, but remember we’re talking about looking a plant! This picture was taken only about 15 minutes after the conservatory opened for the day.

Titan arum and its admirers

Titan arum and its admirers

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