Hold Your Nose – Phipps' Corpse Flower is Set to Bloom
Charge your camera batteries and pack your nose plugs because ‘Romero’ is expected to bloom any day now.
Photo by Sean Collier
As it did in 2013, “Romero” is set to stink up Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in a big way and the folks there couldn't be more excited.
“Romero” is a rare corpse flower, native only to the Sumatran rainforests, with the ability to grow as high as eight feet tall. Most of the growth occurs just before the bloom and the flower has added more than 20 inches since May 30. Corpse flowers bloom only once every six to 10 years, so yes, this is a major horticultural event.
When the bloom occurs, predicted to be within the next few days, it will be impossible to miss even if you are not within eyesight of the famous flower. “Romero” will, during the the 12 to 48 hours of its bloom, give off a signature smell similar to that of rotting flesh. The smell inspired Phipps Conservatory to name the flower after George Romero, director of the 1968 cult classic “Night of the Living Dead.”
If you're wondering just how strong an odor, read Sean Collier's account of his middle-of-the-night encounter with “Romero” in 2013.
Phipps is officially on “Bloom Watch,” which means its hours are extended until midnight. If you can't be there in person, you can watch the flower's progress through the “corpse cam” live feed or follow the flower's very popular Twitter feed.