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.

To date, the Garden has hosted 9 Amorphophallus titanum flowerings, the most recent in October of 2018.

Titan Arum in bloom

Octavia, one of the Garden's Amorphophallus titanum specimens, is blooming today, Thursday, August 5.

Visitors can see (and smell!) the corpse flower in the Climatron during regular hours, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. The Climatron will also be open to view Octavia tonight during Origami After Hours. Tickets to Origami After Hours are available here.

Corpse flower blooms last approximately 24–36 hours on average.

Watch live on YouTube

Follow the Garden on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or subscribe for email updates to learn when Octavia blooms. 

"We are delighted to have one of the world’s most iconic plants, the titan arum, flowering at the Missouri Botanical Garden. It is an important symbol of the incredible diversity of the world’s plants, which we all need to work to conserve in cultivation and in their natural habitats. By growing this species in botanic gardens we can raise awareness of the loss of its tropical forest home in the island of Sumatra, a part of Indonesia."

–Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson
Missouri Botanical Garden President