It’s happening again! The deathly-smelling Amorphophallus titanum, also known as titan arum, is expected to be in bloom at the Garden within the next week! This is our second titan arum bloom of 2024. 

Best known by its common name as the corpse flower due to its rancid smell of rotting flesh, this plant and its extraordinary bloom are a rare occurrence as most require seven to ten years to produce their first blooms, and typically bloom only every four to five years thereafter. Once in full bloom, the plant will emit its stench for just two days. Don’t miss your chance to see this fascinating plant in our Dickinson Family Education Conservatory!

GENERAL ADMISSION

Special after-hours and early admission will be available; specific dates and times will be added to our website and social media channels once the plant is in bloom.

 

Skip to: About the Corpse FlowerLife Cycle Conservation – Live Stream

About the Corpse Flower

Found within the dense rainforests of Sumatra, Amorphophallus titanum earn the nickname of corpse flower by mimicking an odor of rotten meat to attract pollinators such as carrion beetles and flies. To increase its chances of pollination, the large spadix self-generates heat (thermogenesis). This heat raises the scent high into the trees, attracting insects from farther away. The compounds that create the odor have been identified and described as smelling like cheese, garlic, smelly feet, diapers, or rotten fish.

Life Cycle

The blooming of a corpse plant is a rare and special event, as most plants require seven to ten years to produce their first blooms, and bloom only every four to five years thereafter. Starting off as a corm, unlike other plants, the corpse plant only takes one form every cycle, sprouting  out either a leaf or blooming with hundreds of flowers. 

Once it fully blooms, it will only emit its signature stench for 48 hours before it begins to close up and slowly decay over the following weeks. This specific corpse plant is part of San Diego Botanic Garden’s permanent collection, and last bloomed in November 2021. This is the ‘sibling’ of the last corpse plant that recently bloomed at the Garden on the evening of June 28, 2024.

Images Courtesy of US Botanic Garden

Conservation


The corpse flower is listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with an estimation of fewer than 1,000 individuals remaining in the wild. IUCN estimates the population has declined more than 50% over the past 150 years. The main reasons for the decline are logging and the conversion of the plant’s native forest habitat to oil palm plantations. 

Botanic gardens across the world work together to preserve the genetic diversity of plants like this one by sharing pollen, seed, and plant materials. San Diego Botanic Garden will collect and store pollen from the bloom, with hopes of sharing out to other botanic gardens to broaden the gene pool and help conserve this magnificent plant. 

Images Courtesy of US Botanic Garden

Corpse Plant Cam (24-Hour Live Stream)

Tune into our 24-hour live stream!