A rare and endangered Amorphophallus titanum recently bloomed  at the Garden in July 2023! Characterized by a scent Morticia Addams might use as an intoxicating perfume, the deathly-smelling Amorphophallus titanum is best known by its common name as the corpse flower.

There are not currently any corpse plants blooming, however visitors can see this unique plant in its leaf stage in our Conservatory.



Skip to: About the Corpse FlowerLife Cycle

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 having fully bloomed, it will only be open and smelling for a span of 3 days before it begins to close up and slowly decay over the following weeks. This will be the first corpse flower blooming at SDBG since November 2021.