This Ohio Zoo Wants You To Come Smell Its Stinkiest Flower
By Taylor Linzinmeir
July 22, 2022
The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is inviting guests to come visit one of the world's rarest and largest flowering structures: The corpse flower.
The corpse flower, known scientifically as Amorphophallus titanum, gets its name from the unpleasant scent it emits when it blooms. According to the Zoo, "The odor has been described as a combination of Limburger cheese, garlic, rotting fish, and smelly feet."
"The odor, color, and temperature, which can rise to 98 degrees, of the flower are meant to attract pollinators that are attracted to dead animals," Cincinnati Zoo horticulturist Jerome Stenger told WXIX-TV. "Since the Discovery Forest greenhouse isn't crawling with dung beetles and flesh flies, we are trying to get our hands on some pollen so we can help Morticia pollinate."
The corpse flower, which was named "Morticia" in a vote by the Zoo's social media followers, is expected to bloom for 24 to 36 hours. It takes seven to ten years for one corpse flower to gather enough energy to begin its blooming cycle.
"We've all heard how bad the smell is, but it's just one of those things that you want to experience in order to describe it in your own words," Stenger said. "And the fact that the occurrence is so rare, sometimes just blooming once in a decade, makes everyone want to see it."
We are so excited that Morticia, our corpse flower is getting ready to bloom! The corpse flower is one of the world's largest and rarest flowering structures. It takes seven to ten years for a single corpse flower to gather enough energy to begin its bloom cycle. The plant generally blooms for only 24 to 36 hours. The smell it emits when in bloom is why it’s called the corpse flower. The odor has been described as a combination of Limburger cheese, garlic, rotting fish, and smelly feet. The plant is trying hard to attract its native Sumatran pollinators: carrion beetles and flesh flies that are attracted to the stench of decaying meat. Come check out Morticia in the Discovery Forest on your next visit!Posted by Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden on Wednesday, July 20, 2022