'Corpse Flower' Will Soon Bloom at Missouri Botanical Garden

The garden will stay open late when the stinky flower decides to open up

click to enlarge Luna, the corpse flower, is getting ready to bloom in the next two weeks in the Missouri Botanical Garden climatron. - VIA MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN
Luna, the corpse flower, is getting ready to bloom in the next two weeks in the Missouri Botanical Garden climatron.

Missouri Botanical Garden's "corpse flower" (legal name Amorphophallus titanum) has given signs it could bloom sometime in the next two weeks.

The flower, which gets its street name because its bloom smells like rotting flesh, is notoriously finicky. From seed, a corpse flower takes 5 to 10 years to bloom at all, and when it does, it usually only stays open 12 to 36 hours. Plus, the plant typically starts to flower in the late afternoon with the peak bloom occurring at night.

MoBot's corpse flower, named Luna, is only six years old, so no one expected it to bloom this year. When it started showing signs that it would, the flower was moved to the Climatron. Luna was a gift from the Chicago Botanical Garden and currently is 53 inches tall and weighs more than 30 pounds.

Before blooming, corpse flowers grow several inches a day and start losing their leaves around the bud. When growth slows, that's an indication that the flower is ready to open up.

When Luna flowers, MoBot will stay open late so visitors can take a look. Watch MoBot's social media pages for more information.

If you can't make it in person, catch the blooming on MoBot's corpse flower live stream.

About The Author

Rosalind Early

Rosalind is the editor-in-chief of the Riverfront Times. She formerly worked for Washington University's alumni magazine and St. Louis Magazine. In 2018, she was selected as a Rising Leader of Color by the Theatre Communications Group. In 2014, she was selected as an Emerging Leader by FOCUS St. Louis. Her work...
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