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Rare corpse flower expected to bloom in Columbus soon

Rare corpse flower expected to bloom in Columbus soon

Jack McLaughlin

A rare corpse flower is expected to bloom soon at Franklin Park Conservatory (FPC).

One of FPC’s two mature corse flowers bloomed last year, although the plant that is likely to bloom in the next several days last flowered in 2020.

According to Alexis Lorenzen, Horticulturalist Manager at Franklin Park Conservatory, the flower originally grows from bulb-like structures called corms, and takes approximately 7-10 years to reach maturity and flower for the first time. After this, developed plants typically bloom once every 3-5 years.


The flower should only last 1-2 days, and its pungent smell will be strongest within the first 12-15 hours, Lorenzen said.

The scent, which has been compared to rotting flesh, stinky cheese, garlic and sweaty socks, mimics the smell of decomposition to attract carrion-feeding flies and beetles, which act as pollinators.

When cultivated, the flowers can stand up to 8 feet tall, with some in the wild reaching heights of 10 feet.

So when will the plant flower, you’re probably wondering? It’s hard to say, but it will likely be several more days.

Once the plant’s brax—a protective leaf sheath—falls away on both sides, it should flower in 3-4 days. As of yesterday afternoon, one of its brax had nearly fallen off.

Photo via Franklin Park Conservatory

The park has two mature plants, in addition to a pair of immature plants that are currently in a dormant stage, meaning this will likely be your last chance to see a corpse flower in Columbus for the multiple years.

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