Wednesday , November 22 2017
Home | Science | Corpse Flower blooms for the first time in Rocky Mountain region
Credit: Denver Botanic Gardens

Corpse Flower blooms for the first time in Rocky Mountain region

Flowers are often a reminder of death because how much of a role they play in funerals but I bet most people have never seen, or smelled a flower that lets off an odor comparable to a corpse.

The Corpse Flower is a type of plant that grows mostly in Indonesia and even there it is considered to be a very rare plant. The flower, when it blooms, lets off a distinctly horrible smell that many would compare to rotting food and a corpse. This is how the plant thrives. It’s smell attracts the attention of flies and beetles who pollinate it.

The flower grows in three different stages, first it will have a single leaf grow which will soon die and then will become dormant for sometime. This dormant stage could take some time, anywhere between 10-15 years, but eventually the third phase of the plants comes around and it sends up either another leaf or a flower that will bloom. The blooming of the flower will only last for about 48 hours so catching a glimpse of this foul smelling beauty is rare.

Luckily, in 2007, Denver was given one of these incredible plants and horticulturalists have been watching over it ever since. The plant, also known as Titan Arum, is the first to ever bloom in the Rocky Mountain Region.

Aaron Sedivy, one of the horticulturalists who has been watching over the plant, said that it is about 13 years old and right on schedule with blooming. They were not quite sure when the plant would bloom but were able to narrow it down slightly. Sedivy said that around the first of June they realized that a flower was coming through, not a leaf, and from there they began planning. They believe that the flower opened up sometime in the early morning on Wednesday.

The flower now stands five feet, three inches and was reported to have grown about two inches per day since late July. Because of the limited time in which people are able to view the plant there have been mass crowds, sometimes 3 hours waiting, just to get a smell and viewing of this awful smelling flower.

The flower has since closed up and will now remain dormant again until the next time it blooms. Horticulturalists are not sure when it will bloom again. They say it could take anywhere from three to five years before they will smell its odor again.

About Teigan Goldsmth

Teigan Goldsmth

Teigan is a 3rd year History major with an English minor and a passion for writing and learning about the past. She loves to read and learn all that she can about the world.