Corpse flower nears rare blooming at Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Once the flower opens, it will emit a powerful, putrid stench that only lasts for up to 48 hours.
The waiting game for the corpse flower to bloom is underway at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Once the flower opens, the Titan Arum will emit a powerful, putrid
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 10:17 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The waiting game for the corpse flower to bloom is underway at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens.

Once the flower opens, the Titan Arum will emit a powerful, putrid stench. The odor typically only lasts for 24-48 hours before it collapses. The plant can reach a final height of 6-8 feet before it opens up.

Tom Fullmer, the PR & Marketing Coordinator for Olbrich Botanical Gardens, says there’s a sense of anticipation waiting for the corpse flower to bloom.

“We share updates on our social media about the bloom and people love to keep track of it that way,” said Fullmer. “There’s a nail-biting aspect when it does decide to bloom because it’s really unpredictable.”

The corpse flower is nearing its bloom at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens.
The corpse flower is nearing its bloom at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens.(WMTV)

Because the corpse flowers only bloom 4-5 times during their 40-year lifespan, it’s a rare botanical event.

“It’s really a spectacle to see,” added Fullmer.

However, Madison witnesses the event more than most as the Olbrich Botanical Gardens is home to four corpse flowers. The plants were a gift from the DC Smith Greenhouse on the UW-Campus.

Corpse Flower Update 5/1 - No Bloom Yet! These photos were taken last night (Saturday) at around 9 p.m. The plant is...

Posted by Olbrich Botanical Gardens on Sunday, May 1, 2022

The last time a corpse flower bloomed at Olbrich was in June 2018. Previously, this corpse flower had bloomed in October 2009.

To see (or smell) the corpse flower once it blooms, head to the Olbrich Botanical Gardens. The Bolz Conservatory is open 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily, but Olbrich may extend its hours depending on when the plant blooms.

Admission is $6 for general public and free for children 5 and under.

WOULD YOU SMELL IT? 🤔 I'd give it a whiff! 👃 The putrid stench the corpse flower emits once it blooms has been described as "hot garbage" or "rotting meat".

Posted by Gabriella Rusk NBC15 on Monday, May 2, 2022

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