There’s going to be a big stink in the Franklin Park Zoo.
Amorphophallus titanum, a rare 200-pound flower that originates in Western Indonesia and is more than 4 feet tall, is expected to bloom Saturday or Sunday. The blooming is considered quite an event, as it takes a minimum of five years to occur, said Harry Liggett, manager of Horticulture and Grounds at Zoo New England.
But rather than gaping at the beauty of a flower that could be about 5 feet wide when it blooms, scientists and spectators will be getting another not so pleasant
experience — a powerful smell that
resembles rotting flesh.
Also known as the corpse flower, the amorphophallus titanum releases a strong smell that attracts beetles and flies that act as a pollinator, Liggett said. He said the dark burgundy color resembles decaying meat.
“It is a rarity and it gives people in Boston a real opportunity [to experience] the diversity that this plant has to offer,” he said.
The plant goes by the name Morticia, and it will be the second of the corpse flowers to bloom at the Franklin Park Zoo. The first, named Fester, bloomed last week, Liggett said.
The flower’s bloom lasts up to two days before it starts to die. Because it will take as many as 15 years to bloom again, he said, the zoo will have extended morning and evening “calling hours” for the public to see it free of charge.
There are three other corpse flowers growing at the zoo. All were donated by Dr. Louis Ricciardiello, an oral surgeon in Laconia, N.H., who has been growing and cultivating the plants for several years.