Exploring San Diego


Rare, rancid-smelling 'corpse flower' blooms at San Diego Botanical Garden

corpse flower
Posted at 6:34 PM, Jul 03, 2023

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – The rare and rancid smell of the Amorphophallus titanum once again fills the air after blooming at the San Diego Botanic Garden.

The plant, commonly known as the “corpse flower,” is one of the world’s largest and rarest flowers that bloomed Sunday, sending out an odor described as rotting flesh. The last time a corpse flower bloomed at the SDBG was in November 2021, and it’s expected to be about four feet tall and emit the stench for only two days.

The bloom of a corpse flower is a rare and unique event, as most plants require seven to ten years to produce their first blooms and then bloom only every four to five years after that.

“The corpse flower is the smelly rock star of the plant world,” said San Diego Botanic Garden President and CEO Ari Novy, Ph.D. “Its putrescence attracts pollinators in its native habitat in Sumatra, Indonesia, while also attracting curious humans from around the world excited to experience this beautiful, stinky, giant inflorescence.”

The plant is on loan from the Fullerton Arboretum. The garden says there are less than 1,000 plants left in the wild, and botanic gardens and private collections currently have about 500 specimens in their collections.

The garden will be open for special extended hours, and ticket reservations are required.

  • 7/3: Open until midnight with the last entry at 11 pm (late night is prime smelling time)
  • 7/4: Open 9 am to 4 pm

Entrance to the Conservatory is included with General Admission. Members receive free admission; non-member admissions range from $10 to $18.
For those unable to attend in person, a 24-hour live stream of the plant is available on the SDBG’s website.

For more information, visit www.SDBG.org.