Corpse Flower

The unique Amorphophallus titanum, commonly known as titan arum or the “corpse flower,” is a large, fast-growing plant in the Aroid family. Few of these plants exist in cultivation, and they bloom only rarely and under just the right conditions. On the extremely infrequent occasion that a titan arum comes into flower, the intense, foul odor, emitted from a tall spike of small, crowded flowers, lasts just a few days.

Every year or two, the plant sends up one long, gigantic, rolled-up leaf that unfurls its umbrella-like blade during a period of about three weeks. The leaf lives for one or two years before the plant goes into a dormant period that lasts from a few months to a year. The inflorescence, a giant flowering structure, opens quickly, often in just a couple of hours. It maintains its full form for about 24 hours, with peak bloom (and the awful odor) lasting from 6 to 12 hours.


Octavia, the eighth Amorphophallus titanum to flower at the Garden, is no longer expected to bloom again this summer.

It appears that the plant expended so much energy growing—at 8 feet, she is the largest corpse flower yet recorded at the Garden—that she did not have anything left to support a bloom.

Daytime Viewing

Octavia is currently on display in the Linnean House conservatory from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is included with Garden admission. 

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