A Late Bloomer on the Mall

Over the past week, there has been a celebrity drawing crowds to the Botanic Garden.

It’s a rare plant from the rain forests of Sumatra known as the titan arum – growing up to twelve feet in height, and boasting one of the largest flowers in the world. The catch is that it rarely ever blooms – from once every few years to once every few decades.

When it does, it releases the stench of death far and wide. And then the bloom withers away within a day or two.

That’s how it earns its other name – “the corpse flower” – which is also the name of the next Tim Burton film.

A flowering titan arum has only been in display in the U.S. a few times, and the last time it was at the Botanic Gardens was in 2007.

The titan arum in full bloom.
The titan arum in full bloom.

Continue reading