‘Smells like rotting roadkill!’ Unusual large ‘corpse plant’ blooms in eastern Idaho
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IDAHO FALLS — It’s rare, stinky and hard to find, but late last week, a “corpse plant” surprised the workers at Town & Country Gardens when it started to bloom.
The official name of the plant is amorphophallus titanium, and it is known for its massive foul-smelling cluster of flowers. The plant only blooms every four to 10 years, and its bulbs can weigh up to 300 pounds.
“This was given to us by a customer a few years ago. They had it and it never bloomed for them, so they brought it over,” says John Crook, the owner of Town & Country Gardens. “We’ve been keeping it here in the greenhouse and watching it grow every year. It has never blossomed, but this year it decided to send up its stinky bloom.”
The black blossom emerges from the ground without any leaves and can grow up to 10 feet tall and 4 feet wide in just a few days. The plant at Town & Country Gardens is over 5 feet tall and about an inch wide. And boy, does it smell!
“It stinks to high heaven! It smells like rotting roadkill and was worse than I imagined,” Crook tells EastIdahoNews.com. “We’ve got it displayed prominently in our greenhouse, and on a hot day, the smell will spread out about 10 to 15 feet.”
Crook has only seen amorphophallus titanium plants in botanical gardens or universities. They are incredibly rare, and once they bloom, the large flower is usually dead and gone within a week, Crook says. The plant then takes a few years to “recharge” before flowering again.
“By tomorrow or the next day it will probably be wilted clear down, so we’d love for people to come and see it,” Crook says. “It’s been super exciting for us because there really are very few of them around. I’d love to get the word out for more people to see it. It’s pretty amazing.”
You can stop by Town & Country Gardens at 5800 South Yellowstone Avenue between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. to see the “corpse plant” while it’s still around.