Foster Botanical Garden is anticipating that for the fifth time this year a rare Amorphophallus titanum, also known as the “Corpse plant,” could bloom as early as Sunday, July 9, 2016.
Plant specialists, who are closely monitoring the bloom, say that the plant normally opens in the afternoon, is in full bloom that night and finishes the bloom two days later. The first 24 hours are the “smelliest,” when the stench of rotten flesh emitted by the flower is most pungent.
The endangered species native to Sumatra, Indonesia is a short-lived flower that only blooms once every two to five years. It is the largest unbranched inflorescence in the plant kingdom. Contributing to this plant’s exotic allure is the bloom’s strong stench, which serves to attract the carrion beetles that pollinate the flower.
In cultivation, the Amorphophallus titanum generally requires seven to 10 years of vegetative growth before blooming for the first time.
This particular plant was donated by local resident John Kawamoto and will be blooming for the second time after eight years of growth from seed.
The plants are at Foster Botanical Garden’s Orchid Conservatory, which is home to 10 mature specimens of the Corpse plant.
Contributing to this impressive public collection are other plant displays in the conservatory:
- Leopard Orchids
- Spider Orchids
- Blood Lilies
Foster Botanical Garden is located at 50 North Vineyard Boulevard, and is the oldest of the city’s botanical gardens. The garden displays a mature and impressive collection of tropical plants. Some of the magnificent trees in this 14-acre garden were planted in the 1850s by Dr. William Hillebrand. The garden also includes a palm collection, the Lyon Orchid Garden, hybrid orchid display, the Prehistoric Glen, and a gift shop.
Cost for admission at Foster Garden is: $5.00 – general, 13 years and older; $3.00 – Hawai‘i resident 13 years and older with ID, $1.00 – Child 6 to 12 years old; free – Child 5 years old and under (must be with adult). Call 522-7066 for information.
Foster Botanical Garden is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., daily except for Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Please “Like” Foster Botanical Garden or Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Facebook (facebook.com/MayorKirk) or follow Mayor Caldwell on Twitter (@MayorKirkHNL), or call the Foster Botanical Garden Information Line at (808)768-7125, to find out when the Amorphophallus titanum blooms.