Take your kids to see the corpse flower! The plant went on display at the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) Conservatory on July 22 and should be at peak bloom between this Thursday and Sunday, July 28-31. Once fully open, it usually remains in bloom for 24 to 48 hours and then quickly collapses. The plant is famous for its large size and pungent odor — it emits a putrid scent while in bloom to attract pollinators such as carrion beetles and flies. Native to the tropical rain forests of Indonesia, Amorphophallus titanum can take several years to several decades to store enough energy to bloom so there are very limited times that the public can see the bloom in the United States. The USBG last displayed a blooming corpse flower in 2013. The USBG is open to public free of charge every day of the year from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. However, the Conservatory will stay open until 8:00 pm while the corpse flower is on display and will remain open until 11:00 during peak bloom (forget the kids, think of this as an unusual “date”). The USBG Conservatory is at 100 Maryland Avenue SW; (202) 225-8333.
Track the bloom’s progress via live video at http://www.USBG.gov/CorpseFlower