Corpse flower
Brandy Eide, deputy CEO at the San Diego Botanic Garden, measures the corpse plant in 2021. Photo credit: Courtesy, SDBG

The San Diego Botanic Garden expects a rare and rancid bloom of an Amorphophallus titanum to appear soon. Not familiar? Perhaps you’ve heard of its nickname – the corpse flower. 

The bloom is expected to let its stink flag fly sometime within the next week, with the stench to last only two days. It’s a special event, as these plants require seven to ten years to produce their first blooms. 

This is the first corpse flower to bloom at the Encinitas garden since November 2021, adding a new element to “Savage Gardens,” the carnivorous plant exhibition that opened Saturday.

The corpse plant will be on view to the general public starting Saturday too.

Found within the dense rainforests of Sumatra, the flower earned its nickname by mimicking an odor of rotten meat to attract pollinators such as carrion beetles and flies. The compounds that create the odor have been identified and described as smelling like cheese, garlic, smelly feet, diapers or rotten fish.

The garden – general admission costs $18 – books slots online, and is open six days a week, except Tuesdays. The hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last allowable booking at 4 p.m.