The titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum), also known as the “corpse flower,” is now blooming at Foster Botanical Garden, and today is the best day to catch it.
The corpse flower was not originally expected to begin blooming until today, but it surprised city Department of Parks and Recreation staff by blooming Wednesday afternoon.
The first 24 hours is when the flower’s pungent, rotten smell can best be detected. The species, a native to the rainforest of Sumatra, according to the Smithsonian Institution, produces the largest, unbranched flowering inflorescence, or flower cluster, in the world.
It can take seven to 10 years for a corpse flower to bloom for the first time, and it blooms for only a few days. Foster Botanical Garden will offer extended hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today.