Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Watch Live: Rare Corpse Flower Blooms In West Michigan

It smells like rotting flesh

July 12, 2018 - 6:15 am

GRAND RAPIDS (WWJ) - In west Michigan, they're waiting for a bad smelling, rare corpse flower to bloom.

Senior Horticulture Manager Wendy Overbeck says the flower has been at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park for 18 years, but this will be the first year it blooms. 

Click here to watch the flower bloom live

"It's huge. The spadix, which is the center of the flower, stands at over four-and-a-half feet tall right now and when the spathe opens around it, it's like this big frilly leaf that will surround that center spike, and it will look like a giant, kind of like a frilled edge cup with a deep maroon color on the inside," Overbeck said, "It's absolutely gorgeous."

The flower's spathe started to open Wednesday night, expanding to about 25 inches by 10 p.m.

Overbeck says it's called the corpse flower because it smells like rotting flesh or meat. They've nicknamed it "Putricia" for that reason.

The corpse flower is one of the largest and rarest flowering plants in the world. It can take up to a decade to produce a flowering structure and when it blooms, it is open for only 24 to 36 hours. 

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park