“Corpse” flower blooms at UMass greenhouse for first time in years

Hampshire County

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – It was in full bloom Wednesday night, and you may have missed your chance to see it.

The “corpse” flower at UMass Amherst began blossoming early Wednesday to the delight of hundreds of onlookers.

Amorphophallus Titanum, also known as the “corpse” flower bloomed at the Morrill Greenhouse at UMass Amherst. It flowers for about 24 to 32 hours.

And when it’s in bloom it smells really bad, hence its nickname – corpse.

Greenhouse Manager Chris Phillips told 22News, “I’ve heard it compared to a frog wrapped in seaweed, to wet underwear, all these different descriptors that people come up with.”

The flower is part of the greenhouse’s natural history collection of plants. Phillips said once word spread the flower was blooming, lines started forming throughout the day.

Maizy Scarpa of Pittsfield told 22News, “Everyone drops what they’re doing and runs to see the flower, so that’s really delightful.”

Carol Will of Hadley added, “I’m really not sure why. I just really think it’s so unique and it’s rare to actually see one of these flowers.”

This particular corpse flower hasn’t fully bloomed in a little more than three years.

Phillips said you can best smell the flower in the early morning hours or late evening, because that’s when the flower is attempting to attract beetles and flies.

Normally the greenhouse is closed Thursday for the 4th of July, but they’re opening Thursday from 11:00am to 4:00pm, so people can stop in to check out the flower’s rare bloom… and smell.

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