If you have a chance to stroll past the New York Botanical Garden this week in the Bronx, New York, then you might end up smelling something that resembles that of dead animals, rotting meat, and sewage.
Why? Well, no one died, and no one clogged the toilet; instead, it’s the result of something beautiful. Well, kind of…
It would seem that the garden has played host to its first successful bloom of a rare corpse flower since 1939.
Image Credit: New York Botanical Garden/YouTube
It really isn’t all that often that these things bloom, and when they do, they attract a lot of attention because of their smell and their colorful appearance. The last time we reported on a corpse flower blooming, it happened in December of 2015 in Australia.
It’s believed that the heavy stenches that permeate the surrounding air of these plants are intended to lure in pollinating insects, such as flies. Because for whatever reason, flies love these kinds of smells.
“It smells like a dead animal, with a slight vinegary odor,” said Marc Hachadourian, director of the Nolen Greenhouses at the New York Botanical Garden. “It’s really quite nasty.”
A live feed of the flower is currently playing on YouTube, so you can watch it in real time:
These flowers don’t typically last all that long, and the scent will dissipate within two days. The flower itself is expected to wilt very soon, being that the blooming began just this Wednesday.
Despite how quickly they bloom and pass on, it takes corpse flowers up to a decade to grow to their full-sized potential, and they can grow to be as large as 9 feet tall.
Source: New York Times, Scientific American