San Marino

The Huntington's Stenchful Superstar Will Soon Bloom

The landmark garden's newest Corpse Flower is growing big and growing fast, is the whiffy word from the San Marino landmark.

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens

What to Know

  • The current flower is the San Marino garden's 12th to date; Corpse Flowers are known to grow tall and release a stinky scent
  • View (and smell?) the rare specimen beginning on Monday, June 28; the bloom window is short, due note
  • Weekday reservations are no longer required at The Huntington

Naming the iconic items that traditionally show up by the dozen?

You might go with "eggs" for your first answer, or "months of the year," and "doughnuts" definitely work, too.

But a new dozen-themed milestone has been reached, in a major and majorly whiffy way, at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

For the San Marino destination, known for its exquisite fine art, stunning succulents, and important documents, has also become a festively fetid nexus for people interested in smelling something quite putrid.

We're talking about the Corpse Flower, or Amorphophallus titanum, if you prefer.

The Huntington has been home to a few of these fantastically famous and frightfully fragrant specimens over the years, and now the landmark's 12th Corpse Flower is ready for its moment in the sun.

Make that "proverbial" sun that is, for the stately, tall, and oh-so-rare wonder stays inside The Huntington's Conservatory, where it can grow, grow, grow, and then briefly open, which is when the malodorous magic starts to happen.

That malodorousness may begin around June 28, which is when the public can stop by to view Stinky, or Son of Stinky, or Son of Son of Stinky, though, after a dozen Corpse Flowers, we may be much further along the naming tree (yep, past blossoms have been adorably dubbed "Stinky" by The Huntington's staff members).

And while this is the dozenth Corpse Flower at The Huntington, it is also making early headlines for other reasons: It is a robust grower, and the pros currently caring for it are expecting the flower will make quite a stink when it finally blooms.

"Quite a stink" literally, of course, but also because it will be sizeable.

"We think this one is shaping up to be our biggest bloom yet," shared Lisa Blackburn of The Huntington's communication office. "It's currently growing at a rate of about five inches a day, with no sign of slowing down!"

The public can begin taking in-person meetings with The Huntington's regal and reeky guest on Monday, June 28, or at least you're welcome to file by and see if your nose knows what's up.

The Corpse Flower's big show doesn't last long, so timing it is always tricky. It could go to town, both bloom-wise and smell-wise, on June 28, but Corpse Flowers famously keep to their own clocks.

But watching the garden's social pages for the latest updates, and keeping tabs on the live #BloomWatch on Youtube, are smart notions for those seeking a little noxious nature as June comes to a close.

Good to know? Reservations are no longer required for The Huntington on weekdays, but, as you might expect, capacity within the Conservatory will be limited.

Want the hashtag for flower-following purposes? Of course you do and should: It's #StinkyattheH.

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