Corpse Flower Bloom: Happening Now

Make your way to Encinitas for the rare chance to smell this unusual specimen.

Look, we get it, and it's completely understandable.

When the mornings grow a tad crisper, and the weather starts to don its true fall feel, a person longs to stay tucked up, under the toasty blankets of their bed, for just a little longer each day.

So it goes, apparently, with the Titan Arum, or Amorphophallus titanum, or, most popularly, the Corpse Flower.

This stinker of a special specimen, a rare and talked-about bloom of headline-making proportions, is now on display at the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas.

But the four-foot-tall flower, which is famed for its "deathly" smell, wasn't yet open when it arrived at the plant-filled property in early September. Staffers guessed it might open over the middle weekend of September, perhaps on the 16th or 17th, thus sending its rotting smell to nearby noses, but, alas: This reticent flower didn't budge.

The "cooler weather" over the weekend slowed the Corpse Flower's roll, and those dramatic outer fronds didn't open up as had been hoped.

But hopes were beautifully met on the evening of Monday, Sept. 18 when the stately but whiffy wonder began to finally work its nose-testing magic.

It's now open, in other words, and will stay stinky for "two to three days."

If you're curious about this singular flower-observing experience, you best hightail it, gently and dutifully observing all posted laws, to Encinitas straightaway, especially if you've never had a chance to smell a flower that is redolent of "Limburger cheese, filthy socks, rotting flesh, and dirty diapers with a dash of sickly sweetness..."

So many feelings here. Repulsion, yes, but fascination wins out.

To find out more about this particular Corpse Flower's journey to San Diego Botanic Garden, click. To keep tabs on the all-too-brief bloom, follow the SDBG on Facebook.

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