San Francisco’s Corpse Flower Is Going to Bloom, ASAP

While we’re not a fan of gender reveals — by any means — we do, however, support blooming parties, especially those organized around rare flora in SF.

San Francisco’s Conservatory of Flowers is one of the most picturesque greenhouses in the entire county. Home to hundreds of native and exotic flora, the glass building inside Golden Gate Park is a hyperlocal gem. (More specifically, it also shoulders the JFK Promenade, which features an array of roadway murals and large-than-life structures on the lawn outside the Conservatory of Flowers.)

What’s potted and rooted and germinated inside the expansive greenhouse is also one of the most prepossessing, ostensibly worse-smelling plants known to science: the corpse flower.

Aptly called “Terra the Titan,” Terra has bloomed at the Conservatory of Flowers multiple times since arriving — the first in 2017, followed by another bloom last year. The greenhouse is home to another corpse flower named Scarlet. And that one, which is younger than Terra, is expected to bloom for the time sometime over the next two weeks.

“We expect Scarlet the Amorphophallus titanum to bloom within 10 – 14 days,” reads an Instagram post from the greenhouse. As to why the flower smells like rotting flesh, it’s to attract native pollinators, primarily carrion beetles and flies.

Per the captioned post, horticulturalists began noticing a “tell-tale sign” that the infamous bud atop the flower would, indeed, evolve into a bloom. That sign? The very first indications of the flower’s “burgundy skirt” that will open as the bloom flares.

TBD on when exactly Scarlet will bloom, but the conservatory says that those interested in seeing the bloom should check its social accounts for timely updates. Because once the flower does unfurl, it’ll only do so for around a day or so.

The San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays; those interested in seeing the flower — one they’ll be able to smell from a metaphorical mile away — can do so by visiting the greenhouse’s West Gallery.

Feature image: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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