Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Stinking Flower in Hawaii

There is a flower in Hawaii that stinks. Below are a picture and a description of the plant provided by Bruce Fisher of Hawaii-Aloha Travel. Links to more information about the plant are also shown below.
If a plant is called "Stinky", you might want to be on guard. This bloom is as rare as it is unforgettable.
The Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens on the island of Hawaii announced the rare flowering of an Amorphophallus titanum today. The common name of the plant is far more colorful: it is known as the Corpse plant. The zoo press release explains that is "due to its distinctive odor when in full bloom. This "fragrance" resembles rotting meat, to attract carrion feeding beetles and Flesh Flies that pollinate it."
For some reason, people want to see (and, presumably, smell) this plant. They are excited at the appearance of "the world's largest un-branched inflorescence (flower)." They've been waiting for awhile. The zoo has two Corpse plants that were donated by artist Hiroshi Tagami nine years ago. They were about two years old then, so this is a once in 11 years occurrence.
The distinctive bloom is six feet in height and "is located next to the feral pig and across from the large mixed parrot aviary."
I could not make this up. I have smelled pigs and from the description of the Corpse plant, swine would be an improvement in aroma.
Just in case you're on the Big Island of Hawaii any time soon and want to experience the bloom in person, the Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens is open daily from 9-4 except Christmas and New Year's Day. I think this is one unique Hawaii flower I'll be happy to experience vicariously.

Source: Bruce Fisher



  1. Nature is Amazing.... Thanks Ariel!

  2. Thanks for the post Ariel! Just in case any readers are in Hilo, HI, just a heads up... I called them and the plants are not blooming now - one did bloom a couple of years ago, so we'll have to wait and see when the next bloom appears ;-) I'd love to go see the Gardens, though!

  3. I volunteer at this zoo twice a week. The grounds are absolutely lovely, a wonderful place to spend a meditative morning, or a leisurely afternoon!

  4. Interesting story, amazing plant.

    Pete, thanks for checking. I missed it last time, definitely want to see it, even if that means I have to smell it. I remember the HTH article a couple years back. Also remember one going off in the green house in Golden Gate Park - imagine the aroma in THAT closed space!