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World’s Stinkiest Flower Begins to Bloom on the Big Island of Hawaii – Corpse Flower Attracting Flies

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation invites the public to the Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens to witness a “corpse plant” that has started its rare blooming phase.

The Corpse Plant blooms at the Panaewa Zoo.

The Corpse Plant blooms at the Panaewa Zoo.

When in full bloom, the giant rainforest plant amorphophallus titanum releases sulfur that smells like rotting corpses to attract pollinating insects. That’s why it’s known as the “corpse plant.”

Full bloom is expected to occur at the zoo on Friday, September 6, and last 48 hours. Blooming frequency varies greatly, often taking place only once every decade.

The Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens has two corpse plants that artist Hiroshi Tagami donated in 2002. One of the plants bloomed in 2011, attracting large crowds of curious onlookers. The other, “Stinky 2,” is growing in the exhibit located next to the zoo’s feral pig and across from the large mixed-parrot aviary.

Located off of Stainback Highway about five miles south of Hilo, the 12-acre Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens is the only natural tropical rainforest zoo in the United States. More than 100 palm varieties and 80 animal species, including Nēnē geese and Namasté, a white Bengal tiger, can be found at the zoo. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, except on Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is free.

For more information, please call 959-7224 or email panaewazoo@co.hawaii.hi.us.


The Corpse Flower Blooms on the Big Island of Hawaii

The Hawaii Tribune has reported that the Corpse Flower at the zoo has begun to bloom:

The bizarre corpse plant, on loan to Hilo’s Panaewa Rainforest Zoo, has started to bloom, zoo Director Pam Mizuno said Saturday afternoon.

Corpse Flower

Corpse Flower (Image from Wikipedia)

Wikipedia has this to say about the strange plant:

Due to its odor, which is reminiscent of the smell of a decomposing mammal,the titan arum is also known as a carrion flower, the “Corpse flower”, or “Corpse plant” (Indonesian: bunga bangkai – bunga means flower, while bangkai means corpse or cadaver; for the same reason, the same title is also attributed to Rafflesia which, like the titan arum, also grows in the rainforests of Sumatra).

There are other Corpse Flowers throughout the world and another one is blooming right now in Basel, Switzerland.  It’s the first time in 75 years that it has bloomed in Switzerland.

Here is a time lapsed video of it blooming: