LO! Death hath rear’d himself a throne
In a strange city, all alone,
Far down within the dim west —
Where the good, and the bad, and the worst, and the best,
Have gone to their eternal rest.
-“The City of Sin,” Edgar Allan Poe
Anyway, a corpse flower is going to bloom again in September at the Denver Botanic Gardens.
Stinky, as the flower is known, was the first ever corpse flower to bloom at the Denver Botanic Gardens. It opened up to fanfare and eager noses back in August of 2015. A different corpse flower by the name of Little Stinker (pictured here) opened up its smelly self in August 2016.
Stinky, this time, will probably bloom in mid-September, horticulturists predict. You can go see it in the Orangery greenhouse, next to Marnie’s Pavilion.
Some facts about Stinky, per the press release: The plant is 18 years old and a little over 2 feet tall. Horticulturists measure it daily and expect it to grow up to about 5 feet. Corpse flowers are native to rainforests of western Sumatra and get their name thanks to the rotting fish smell. The scientific name is amorphophallus titanum, which the BBC informed me translates to “giant misshapen penis.” Its stench has a purpose, of course, and it’s to attract the flies and carrion beetles that pollinate. They bloom for the fist time sometime between the ages of 7 and 15, then every 3 to 8 years after that — so Stinky was a late bloomer but he’s really getting after it now.
Here’s a time-lapse video of Stinky’s 2015 bloom:
The Gardens will be open regular hours during the bloom — 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. On the bloom day, members can get in an hour early. The Gardens will post regular updates on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and its website, and you can get a “Bloom Alert” by signing up for the newsletter.