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.

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


Plant Profile: Corpse Flower

Octavia Expected to Bloom Soon!

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.

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Corpse Flower Viewing

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

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