SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – A corpse flower at the Mount Holyoke College Botanic Garden has finally opened up. While it is a beautiful sight, it also comes with a unique smell!
The Amorphophallus titanum, known as the corpse flower, has grown over two feet in just the last few days and was found Wednesday morning blooming in the garden. The flower only blooms for a few days, boasting a powerful stink which is where it gets its nickname from. The stench is compared to the smell of rotting flesh.
The Botanical Garden at Mount Holyoke College has named the flower “Pangy.” On April 28, the flower was 41 inches tall. By last week it had grown 60.5 inches and on Tuesday it reached 66 inches. When the garden members returned Wednesday morning, the flower was bloomed, displaying beautiful red pedals and its long yellow stock. This corpse flower has been growing in the garden since 2020.
“This plant has adapted a very special mechanism for attracting pollinators. You might see through some of the shots, you may see flies that were attracted. You can’t smell it on camera, but the plant produces foul odors and those odors attract insects that think at the end of the scent trail they’re gonna be able to lay their eggs in a dead animal. But they get fooled, they get duped into being pollinators for this plant,” said Tom Clark, Director and Curator at the Botanical Garden.
The public is invited to view the corpse flower bloom over the next few days at the Mount Holyoke College Botanical Garden.
The corpse flower is list as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). There are less than 1,000 left in the wild. It is the largest unbranched inflorescence in the plant kingdom.