Wednesday, August 7, 2013
If you were wrapped up in the national media's coverage last month of the National Botanical Gardens' blooming corpse flower, you're going to be REALLY excited about this one. As we tend to remember only once every few years, Phipps Conservatory has a corpse flower of its own, which is nicknamed Romero (after the Night of the Living Dead guy) (they nickname their flowers there?!). And — get ready! — it's going to bloom SOMETIME THIS MONTH!
Why is it called a corpse flower, you may ask, if you are uninitiated? Because it smells absolutely disgusting! Know how most flowers smell all sweet, so as to attract honeybees and butterflies? The corpse flower smells like gross rotting flesh, to attract flies! (And probably my dog, if I let her near it.) While most people would probably flee from such a plant, shrieking, Phipps is banking on some of you sickos actually wanting to get near it — and promoting the flowering (which only lasts about a day) as "a smell to wake the dead."
Look at this graphic, is it not amazing?
The last time this particular flower — the only one in town, that we know of, unless some crazy in the suburbs is harboring one for personal use — bloomed was around Halloween of 2010, so don't miss it this time, or you'll be regretting it for a few years.
Other interesting things to note:
— The scientific name of this plant is seriously "Amorphophallus titanium." Do with that information what you will.
— For a long time, it was the official flower of the Bronx. This is supposedly because that's where the first one in the U.S. bloomed, but really. Do you want this to be your official flower? Wouldn't astilbe do?