The Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park will soon be laced with the scent of decaying flesh. The ultra-rare corpse flower is set to unfurl within the next seven to 11 days, according to Brendan Lange, director of marketing and communications at the Gardens of Golden Gate Park.
The flower, nicknamed Scarlet, hasn’t bloomed since 2019. Corpse flowers take an average of seven to 10 years to bloom for the first time and can rebloom every three to five years after the initial flowering.
Scarlet has a telltale fold peeking out from under its giant, polka-dotted leaves—what will eventually unfurl to become the burgundy skirt of the massive, stinky bloom.
It’s not the only Amorphophallus titanum to bloom at the Conservatory. In 2020, a corpse flower nicknamed Terra the Titan bloomed for a second round—marking the first time the phallic plant had re-bloomed there.
The plant emits its highly unusual scent to mimic the smell of rotting flesh, luring insects it needs to pollinate. Once in bloom, a corpse flower will last for only 24 to 36 hours.
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