Rare stinky ‘corpse’ flower soon to bloom at B.C. conservatory

Corpse flower will soon bloom, release stench, at the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park

A rare flower going by the fitting nickname Uncle Fester will bloom any day now in Vancouver, and is anticipated to make quite the stink.

The corpse flower, also known as titan arum, only blooms every seven to 10 years, letting off a stench described by those who have taken a waft as a smell similar to a decaying animal, stinky diapers or leftover garbage.

Back in 2016, the Vancouver Park Board acquired the flower from a nursery in North Carolina. Then, it was a mere 25-pound corm, or bulb. The flower now sits, awaiting its exciting bloom, at the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park.

“Our excellent horticultural staff have lovingly tended it ever since,” said park board chair Stuart Mackinnon in a news release.

“Any day now residents and visitors will have a chance to witness one of nature’s strangest displays.”

The flower is native to rain forests on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, known as the largest corm in the world, growing up to 200 pounds.

Each year, it produces a leaf, reaching up to 15 feet, as a way to absorb energy from the sun. Once the corm has enough energy to produce a flower bud and attempt to reproduce, a visual event unfolds.

Vancouver horticulturists noticed an 11-inch spongy flower bud forming on June 21, according to the park board. By June 29, the bud was 28 inches tall.

What comes next is the final bloom. That’s when the smell will be released from inside the flower, intended to attract small insects and bugs that typically lay eggs inside dying animals in order to fertilize the flower.

In recent weeks, the conservatory hosted a naming contest, as organizers anticipate growing crows as the flower starts to show.

While Stinky McStinkerton and Odorable were a close second and third, Uncle Fester come out on top as the most popular name for the infamous plant.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Auspicious start for new North Cowichan mayor

The swearing-in ceremony for the Municipality of North Cowichan a breath of fresh air

Chemainus Remembers

Cenotaph packed for another moving ceremony on the 100th anniversary of First World War’s end

MacGregor among Maclean’s Parliamentarian of the Year nominees

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP cited for being one of the most collegial

Gas prices on Vancouver Island to drop six cents

But a ‘volatile’ market could lead to increases in the coming weeks

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Island Corridor Foundation optimistic about restoring rail service

If green-lighted, first priority would be Langford to Victoria route

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

B.C. dog owner sues after pet killed in beaver trap

A Kamloops man is suing the operator of a trapline north of the city after his dog died

Heading soccer balls can cause damage to brain cells: UBC study

Roughly 42 per cent of children in the country play soccer, according to statistics from Heritage Canada

Most Read