One of the rarest flowers in the world has bloomed in a South Florida nursery – and its name matches its deadly scent.
The corpse flower – a blossom native to Indonesia – is known for its putrid smell, enormous size and “fleeting presence,” according to the United States Botanic Garden. Known scientifically as the amorphophallus titanium, the smelly flower began blooming at the Tropical Bamboo Nursery and Gardens on June 9.
The nursery, which is based in Loxahatchee, planted the corpse flower back in 2006. It first bloomed in July 2014, the nursery wrote on its Facebook page, but started to unfurl again five years later – bringing with it its signature smelly stench.
“It’s starting to stink!” staff members wrote on the Facebook page June 9, adding that the plant would be “finished” the following day.
One of the corpse flower’s main characteristics is its ephemeral nature, the United States Botanic Garden says. That, paired with its powerful odor (which has been compared to “the stench of rotting flesh”) gives the plant its name.
It can take up to a decade or longer for a corpse flower to bloom because it requires specific conditions to flourish. High humidity and extremely warm day and night temperatures are the ideal environment for the plant to open, according to the United States Botanic Garden.
The corpse flower is typically found in the sultry rainforests of Sumatra, but there have been a few that found a home in the United States. In 2017, three corpse flower plants bloomed around the same time at the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory, an extremely rare occurrence.
At the Tropical Bamboo Nursery and Gardens, the corpse flower was nicknamed Pepe’ Le Pew. The nursery shared photos of the plant’s growth on Facebook, encouraging people to visit before the flower (and its smell) dissipated.
In their natural habitat, corpse flowers can grow up to 12 feet.