Corpse Flower to Bloom Soon
The Missouri Botanical Garden is hoping for a big stink! That’s because of the anticipation of the blooming of Nona, the ninth Amorphophallus titanum to flower at the Garden, sometime in the coming weeks.
The unique Amorphophallus titanum, commonly known as titan arum or the “corpse flower,” is a large, fast-growing plant in the Aroid family. Few of these plants exist in cultivation, and they bloom only rarely and under just the right conditions. On the extremely infrequent occasion that a titan arum comes into flower, the intense, foul odor, emitted from a tall spike of small, crowded flowers, lasts just a few days.
Every year or two, the plant sends up one long, gigantic, rolled-up leaf that unfurls its umbrella-like blade during a period of about three weeks. The leaf lives for one or two years before the plant goes into a dormant period that lasts from a few months to a year. The inflorescence, a giant flowering structure, opens quickly, often in just a couple of hours. It maintains its full form for about 24 hours, with peak bloom (and the awful odor) lasting from 6 to 12 hours.
Since 2012, the Garden has hosted an unprecedented eight flowerings of Amorphophallus titanum plants, the most recent in July 2017. The Garden will open for evening viewing once the inflorescence – the flowering structure – opens. The corpse flower usually opens quickly and in the late afternoon with the peak bloom usually occurring after dark.
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (regular Garden admission applies)
11 p.m. to 1 a.m. (last entry at 12:30 a.m.) on the night the bloom begins (free admission).