Soon, the Department of Botany greenhouse will be filled with the stench of rotting flesh. Well, not real flesh.
Big Bucky --, a titan arum or “corpse flower”— is due to bloom in late May or early June. This gigantic flower is known for its distinct scent and its rapid blooming process.
Once the flower begins to bloom, it takes only a few hours to open completely and stays open for only a couple days. Those who want to see this process take place in real time can watch the webcam set up by the Department of Botany.
The flower’s foul odor attracts pollinators like carrion beetles and flesh flies.
The plant is native to the rain forests of Sumatra, Indonesia. Titan arum plants are difficult to cultivate, and less than 100 have flowered in the United States since 1937, when the first American corpse flower bloomed in the New York Botanical Gardens.