Corpse flower
The San Diego Botanic Garden’s corpse flower on Friday. Courtesy of the garden

The deathly-smelling Amorphophallus titanum — better known as the Titan Arum or “corpse flower” — is expected to bloom late next week at the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas.

One of the garden’s specimens is growing at 3 inches per day, suggesting it will bloom next Thursday or Friday, May 24 or 25, and emit its signature stench for only one to two days.

“It changes almost hourly, so you need to see it in all its stages. Yes, it stinks. But it is also other-worldly beautiful,” said Julian Duval, president and CEO of the garden.

The Titan Arum is native to Sumatra and only blooms about every 5 to 10 years. Its odor is similar to a rotting corpse or carcass, which attracts carrion beetles and flesh flies for pollination.

The plant will be on public display in the Bamboo Garden area from 9 a.m. to 5 p,.m. daily. The garden has two other specimens that may bloom in June

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.