People Are Lining Up to See This Smelly But Rare Flower

The “corpse flower” only blooms once a decade—and it just happened this week.

Photo by amedved/Getty Images

You’d have to be a patient gardener to take care of this plant. The Amorphophallus titanium, also known as the corpse flower, has begun blooming at the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG)—and is set to bloom at other gardens across the United States. The corpse flower has already gotten more than its 15 minutes of fame this week—it was mentioned in the teaser trailer for the long-awaited Gilmore Girls revival.

A newly planted corpse flower takes about 10 years to bloom; already established plants take as few as three to four years, or as long as seven to ten years. The team at the NYBG has carefully tended to their plant for 10 years waiting for it to bloom—there hasn’t been a blooming one on display at the garden since 1939.

When the corpse flower blooms, it displays a dark red flesh and gives off a not-so-pleasant smell that’s been likened to rotting flesh (hence, its nickname). The flowering cycle only last about 24-36 hours, so there’s only a small window of time to view the rare plant. The NYBG has extended it hours to accommodate more visitors.

If you can’t get to New York City, the NYBG has set up a live flower cam, so you can pretend you’re there (without the unfortunate smells):



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