Corpse Plants May Bloom Beginning This Afteroon

12 05 2014

Foster Botanical Garden to remain open until 6 p.m. today and tomorrow to view the corpse plant.

Collage of the stages of the corpse flower blooming.

Collage of the stages of the corpse flower blooming.

Information provided by City and County of Honolulu press release.

Honolulu – Just weeks after “Mr. Stinky,” one of Foster Botanical Garden’s Amorphophallus titanum (corpse plant) bloomed, three more of the garden’s 10 rare plants are anticipated to follow suit over the next several days. One flower was expected to bloom over the weekend, but may have been delayed by the cloudy and rainy weather.  This morning Foster Botanical Garden staff determined that two plants could begin to bloom this afternoon.

Foster Botanical Garden is normally open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., daily, except for Christmas and New Year’s Day.  The garden will remain open until 6 p.m. today and tomorrow to allow extra viewing time.

Native to Sumatra, Indonesia, the endangered Amorphophallus titanum is the largest unbranched inflorescence in the plant kingdom. Contributing to this plant’s exotic allure is its pungent odor of rotting flesh, which serves to attract the carrion beetles that pollinate the flower.  These short-lived flowers only bloom once every three to five years.

Corpse flower.

Corpse flower.

Contributing to this impressive public collection on display are other plants in the same Aroid plant family:

  • Amorphophallus konjac, source of the Japanese yam cake konnyaku
  • Brightly colored Anthurium flowers
  • Various ornamental cultivars of Taro (or Kalo)

Foster Botanical Garden, located at 50 North Vineyard Boulevard in downtown Honolulu, is the oldest of the city’s botanical gardens. The garden displays a mature and impressive collection of tropical plants. Some of the magnificent trees in this 14-acre garden were planted in the 1850s by Dr. William Hillebrand. The garden also includes a palm collection, the Lyon Orchid Garden, hybrid orchid display, the Prehistoric Glen, and a gift shop.

Cost for admission at Foster Garden is: $5.00 – general, 13 years and older; $3.00 – Hawaii resident 13 years and older with ID, $1.00 – Child 6 to 12 years old; free – Child 5 years old and under (must be with adult). Call 522-7066 for information.


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