A smelly corpse flower is about to bloom at New York's Botanical Garden -- here's how to see it

Corpse flowerKristine Paulus/FlickrThe corpse flower at New York’s Botanical Garden.

The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) is home to one very strange flower: the corpse flower. And it’s about to bloom any moment in one of the garden’s galleries, Palms of the World Gallery.

When the famous flower does bloom, it will release a rotting meat-like stench for 24 to 36 hours.

This odorous event is actually kind of rare because corpse flowers only bloom once every seven to ten years. And this is the first time since 1939 that the NYGB has had a blooming corpse flower on display.

So if you want to see (and smell) this flower blooming, this may be one of your only chances for a while.  

The flower was expected to bloom yesterday, a representative from the NYGB told Business Insider, but it didn’t. “When it didn’t bloom yesterday,” she said, “we thought it would overnight but it [still] didn’t, so it’s a little bit unpredictable.”

Many had thought that New York’s unusually high weekend temperatures would accelerate the blooming process, but it looks like they were a little optimistic. 

When the blooming does finally happen, the flower will reach up to 8 feet in height as it displays its unique bright red interior. It will also, of course, start producing its distinct stench. 

The corpse flower uses its smelliness for reproduction. According to National Geographic, what smells like a mixture of rotting flesh and sweaty gym socks to us, actually smells like a new home to dung beetles and flies. These creatures are tricked into thinking the flower is a piece of rotting meat where they can lay their eggs. Once the beetles and flies leave the flower, they end up carrying the corpse flower’s pollen away with them. 

This particular plant has been at the NYBG since 2007, and this will be its first blooming there. The horticulturalists first noticed a bud on this incredible plant on July 15. By July 18, it was put on public display. Excitement has been building ever since.

The NYBG has set up a live stream via YouTube for those who can’t make it in person to the Gardens. 


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