It’s Alive! Endangered Giant ‘Corpse Flower’ Blooms and Stinks at Temple’s Ambler Campus

Boy smelling Amorphophallus titanum “the corpse flower ar Ambler Temple
Image via Steven M. Falk, The Philadelphia Inquirer.
A teen leans in to smell the Amorphophallus titanum, “the corpse flower,” that has bloomed with a flower to last just 36 hours.

Indonesia-native endangered giant “corpse flower” started to bloom on Sunday at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and Architecture Greenhouse Education and Research Complex in Ambler, writes Frank Kummer for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

When it blooms, the Amorphophallus titanum corpse flower emits a rancid smell that has been likened to that of a rotting body. According to Benjamin Snyder, Greenhouse Horticulturist and Manager, the smell was so bad on Sunday night that people were gagging inside the greenhouse and had to walk out. The smell was not as intense on Monday morning.

Getting the rare flower to bloom is a time-consuming and difficult task that Snyder took on with pleasure.

“When they bloom, it’s truly an event because it’s still quite rare in cultivation and the bloom only lasts a couple of days,” he said. “People will come for miles to see an Amorphophallus bloom.”

To bloom, the flower has to be at least seven to ten years old and produce a tuber that weighs more than 20 pounds. After the flower wilts, it will not bloom again for three to seven years, or even longer.

Read more about the unique corpse flower in The Philadelphia Inquirer.