The Corpse Flower Is Blooming!

Jul 19, 2017

The corpse flower is blooming! The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden will be open until 11:00 pm for visitors to catch a whiff of the Titan arum, arguably the stinkiest variety of corpse flower.

The Botanical Garden's Titan arum is the first variety of this type of corpse flower to bloom in Iowa. Its odor of rotting mammal attracts carrion beetles, which act as pollinators. 

Botanical Garden spokeswoman Kelly Reilly says Titan arum should unfurl and be in full bloom sometime tonight.

"The bloom itself will be open for less than 24 hours, and the smell lasts even less than that," she says.  "The smell is strong for only about 10 to 12 hours."

If you don’t want to smell the flower, its scent should disappear by the morning. But if you want the full olfactory experience, tonight’s your best shot.

The Titan arum probably won’t bloom again for another three to five years.