By Shawn Chitnis
DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver Botanic Gardens announced Tuesday that one of its plants commonly known as the corpse flower may bloom next month, three years after its first bloom. The flower is guaranteed to create a strong smell and attract large crowds.
“It’s a pretty big deal,” said Nicholas Giaquinto, a conservatory horticulturalist at the Denver Botanic Gardens.
The plant, Amorphophallus titanium, nicknamed “Stinky” is 18 years old and first bloomed in August 2015. It was the first corpse flower to bloom in the Gardens’ history. Another plant, “Little Stinker,” bloomed in 2016.
“It’s a really large flower,” he said. “It has this rancid smell that for some reason people love to come and take a waft at.”
It can take 10 to 15 years for the first bloom of this plant and then another three to five years for a second bloom. While staff are predicting another bloom, they cannot say for sure that it will happen. Stinky did not take the form of “Little Stinker” this year so that gave staff a clue that another bloom may be on its way.
“We’re never entirely sure when it will bloom again,” said Giaquinto.
PHOTO GALLERY: Gee, That Stinks! Corpse Flower In Bloom
The plant is growing more than an inch a day and will get much larger by September when it is expected to bloom. Little Stinker has a large stock in its current form, considered one single leaf. But it could develop into a flower again. The purpose of the smell is to attract flies and beetles so they pollinate the flower.
“I’m always taking care, I’m always gardening, which is one of my favorite things to do,” he said.
Giaquinto has worked for the Gardens for three years and specializes in tropical plants, “Showing people these cool amazing plants that we grow.”
The corpse flower is native to Sumatra, Indonesia. A place many visitors may never get to see but they can still enjoy the plants that come from there.
“Without a Botanic Garden, they may not get to see, unless they’re traveling all over the world,” said Giaquinto.
Excitement will only grow, just like the plant, as the possible bloom approaches. Staff estimate it will happen between early to mid-September and last between 24 to 48 hours. A reminder of the important role all plants play in our lives, not just the ones that peak our curiosity and sense of smell.
Keep track of the progress of the plant on the Gardens’ social media accounts.
“Plants feed us, they give us oxygen, so we have a lot to thank for with plants.”
LINK: Denver Botanic Gardens