The Planet

Drop Everything And Watch This Rare, Stinky Flower Bloom Live 

by Kate Ryan

July 27, 2016

The internet is great for many things. From watching cats licking bananas in monkey suits to organizing political movements, there’s no limit to the ways you can get inspired or simply kill time on the web.

Now, you can do a little bit of both by watching an enormous, rare flower bloom thanks to the New York Botanical Garden’s live video cam. The best part about observing this flower from a distance? You won’t have to endure its rancid smell. Dubbed the “corpse flower,” the 8-foot-tall botanical phenomenon might be beautiful, but its aroma is far from it.

According to NPR, people have used some choice words to describe the plant’s smell in the past. Among the grotesque descriptors, some have said the flower smells like “rotting flesh,” and “rotten meat, bad fish, or dirty socks.” But the best explanation has got to be this diatribe that sounds remarkably like a negative Yelp review: "[S]ort of the odor you get from a decaying carcass, roadkill if you will, or that odor you see on the bottom of a dumpster after a hot summer day."

But have no fear. With your laptop screen and many miles between you and Amorphophallus titanium, you can observe its magnificent bloom in sensory comfort. Which is a good thing because it might take a while for the flower to fully reveal itself. As the botanical garden says of this historic moment,

"Each day of careful tending and feeding has led up to this moment: a brief yet glorious window in which the enormous plant (up to eight feet high) will unfurl, displaying the striking red interior and uncanny scent to which it owes its name. This is the first time that a blooming titan-arum has been put on display at the Garden since 1939, and this unique plant is unpredictable—it may be in flower for only one or two days."

The garden has been live-streaming the flower’s progress since Thursday and accounts its slow movement to the summer heat. In an update on its YouTube page, the organization said,

“After a weekend of excitement, the high temperatures in New York did not impact the Corpse Flower's growth as our experts anticipated. The plant is still progressing, but its bloom remains difficult to predict (as nature sometimes loves being). We'll post updates as we're able. Thanks to everyone who's been following along—we're just as anxious as you are to see the final result!”

Don’t worry, guys. With some soothing music playing and a scented candle lit, we could watch this flower all day. How’s that for getting more in touch with nature?

Image via Wikimedia Commons

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Drop Everything And Watch This Rare, Stinky Flower Bloom Live