Denver has witnessed a very special moment this week, as the Stinky, the corpse flower, the amazing Amorphophallus titanum from the Denver Botanical Gardens, has finally bloomed. This is an extremely rare occurrence that botany enthusiasts have been waiting to see for years.
The name of the plant comes from the repulsive odor that it releases in order to attract winged insects to it. As the insects come towards it, they get trapped inside of it most of the time and this is all part of the plan.
However, the corpse flower is not carnivorous, so it doesn’t actually kill the insects that it attracts; it simply uses them for pollination, because they come bearing the pollen of other corpse plants in the area and then it releases them.
This is one of the most aggressive pollination processes in nature, but it all happens because the plant needs to be able to perpetuate in the short blooming time it has. The odor is meant to accelerate the process and also to increase the odds of successful pollination and it is an astonishing adaptation to the harsh environment that the corpse plant is used to.
The pant originates in the rainforests of Sumatra, India and it is extremely popular all around the world, as many botanical gardens try to harbor it, all in the hope of a successful bloom. However, this is extremely rare, considering that it can take as long as 10 years for the plant to develop sufficiently so that it can bloom and after the first time, it could take one year or as much as seven before it blooms again.
The Denver Botanical Gardens had a live coverage transmision installed on their web page, that allowed people from all over the world to witness the evolution of their corpse flower. And it seems that people were extremely interested, because as the flower started displaying signs of bloom in the middle of the night, it actually got people to line up for the chance to see it in real life and smell the fowl odor it is known for.
The visitors started gathering Wednesday at 4:30 A.M. and they kept coming and coming all throughout the day and then Thursday and Friday as well. According to official data, as many as 12,000 came to see the corpse plant on Wednesday only.
The visitors that made it to Denver Botanical Gardens on Wednesday actually got to experience the full potency of the odor, as it starts fading away towards the end of the blooming period. This is why some of the visitors who got there later said that the smell was not as bad as they were expecting it to be.
The Gardens even gave the corpse flower a name, because it truly is Denver’s greatest attraction these days. The name they chose was pretty straightforward and it represented the plant perfectly. Stinky, the Corpse Flower was extremely popular on social media and it even got its own hashtag, #StinkyDBG.
The blooming period is expected to end on Friday, as even the lengthiest blooms are known to last for 48 hours. Visitors are still waiting for their chance to see Stinky at the moment and hopefully they will actually make it in time, because this could actually be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Image Source: thedenverchannel