The San Diego Botanic Garden welcomed thousands of visitors for a spooky -- yet stinky -- event on Halloween this year. The garden's rare corpse flower bloomed for the first time in years.
Todays first Ecological Horror is the Titan Arum!— Festive Ecological Horrors! (@EcoHorrorOTD) November 2, 2021
Also known as the Corpse Flower, this plant smells like a mix of mothballs, rotting fish, and sweaty socks. The fruit that grows from them are considered poisonous and not fit for human consumption. They can also grow to 8 feet! pic.twitter.com/YjDLWpSsez
The flower, known scientifically as amorphophallus titanum, began opening its flower mid-Sunday afternoon. The fully opened bloom lasts about 48 hours, so the garden expects the rare event to be over on Tuesday evening.
Corpse flowers can take seven to 10 years to produce their first bloom and thereafter bloom once every four to five years, so this week's event was a rare glimpse.
The San Diego Botanic Garden said this particular plant is 14 years old and last bloomed October 2018.
Their name comes from the pungent, rotting flesh smell the flower emits during its bloom.
The plant, native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is considered endangered, with fewer than 1,000 left in the wild. Workers pollinated the female flowers along the base of the plant with the hopes of generating new seeds to plant in the coming months.
The garden allowed visitors to come view -- and smell -- the flower with timed tickets.
Viewers at home can take a look at the plant on the garden's live stream. The facility also posted a time-lapse video of the flower as it bloomed over 24 hours.
"The corpse flower is the rock star of the plant world," SDBG President and CEO Ari Novy said Sunday. "It is taking center stage today with its incredible bloom and stench."
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