Rare stinky ‘corpse’ flower soon to bloom at B.C. conservatory

Corpse flower will soon bloom, release stench, at the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park

A rare flower going by the fitting nickname Uncle Fester will bloom any day now in Vancouver, and is anticipated to make quite the stink.

The corpse flower, also known as titan arum, only blooms every seven to 10 years, letting off a stench described by those who have taken a waft as a smell similar to a decaying animal, stinky diapers or leftover garbage.

Back in 2016, the Vancouver Park Board acquired the flower from a nursery in North Carolina. Then, it was a mere 25-pound corm, or bulb. The flower now sits, awaiting its exciting bloom, at the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park.

“Our excellent horticultural staff have lovingly tended it ever since,” said park board chair Stuart Mackinnon in a news release.

“Any day now residents and visitors will have a chance to witness one of nature’s strangest displays.”

The flower is native to rain forests on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, known as the largest corm in the world, growing up to 200 pounds.

Each year, it produces a leaf, reaching up to 15 feet, as a way to absorb energy from the sun. Once the corm has enough energy to produce a flower bud and attempt to reproduce, a visual event unfolds.

Vancouver horticulturists noticed an 11-inch spongy flower bud forming on June 21, according to the park board. By June 29, the bud was 28 inches tall.

What comes next is the final bloom. That’s when the smell will be released from inside the flower, intended to attract small insects and bugs that typically lay eggs inside dying animals in order to fertilize the flower.

In recent weeks, the conservatory hosted a naming contest, as organizers anticipate growing crows as the flower starts to show.

While Stinky McStinkerton and Odorable were a close second and third, Uncle Fester come out on top as the most popular name for the infamous plant.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

SD8 students can learn more about Métis culture, history, and language by participating in a variety of educational initiatives this month. Photo: Submitted
SD8 celebrates Métis Awareness Month

The district has a number of events planned in November

Numbers indicate positive COVID-19 tests, January through September. Map: BC Centre for Disease Control
Twenty-five cases of COVID-19 reported in Nelson, Castlegar and Trail in 2020

New data from the BC Centre for Disease Control shows numbers of cases per community

Boxers L-R: William Veroni of North Vancouver and Nelson’s Makalu Babott. Photo submitted
Nelson boxers compete in first pandemic match in North Vancouver

Match was conducted with no spectators and streamed to a live audience

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada/USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
U.S. election results one factor that could impact immigration to Canada next year

The survey polled 1,523 Canadians between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25

Most Read