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Must See Corpse Flower Blooms At The Missouri Botanical Gardens

The Missouri Botanical Gardens, recognized for its extensive collection and conservation initiatives, houses some of the world's most unique flora. Among these specimens, the gardens proudly maintain and exhibit the intricacies of various plant life.

One specimen that garners significant attention is the Amorphophallus titanum, commonly called the Corpse Flower. Its rarity is not only due to its considerable size but primarily because of its infrequent blooming cycle. When it does flower, the plant releases a pungent odor reminiscent of rotting organic matter, leading to its popular name.

Two Corpse Flowers at the Botanical Gardens, Octavia and her clone, are ready to bloom in the upcoming weeks, a must-see event for flower enthusiasts and nature lovers everywhere.

Despite its name, the Corpse Flower bloom is gorgeous and unprecedented. In this article, we will delve into everything to know about the Corpse Flower and the best time to visit the Botanical Gardens to see this rare event take place.

What is the Corpse Flower, and Why Does it Have that Name?

The Corpse Flower, or Amorphophallus titanum, is a botanical rarity native to the rainforests of Sumatra in Indonesia. It's one of the largest flowering structures in the plant kingdom, with its bloom towering at heights of up to 12 feet.

In addition to its size, the blooming cycle, which can take anywhere from seven to nine years and lasts from 24-36 hours, is unprecedented among flora species and adds to its ethos.

The name "Corpse Flower" derives from its characteristic odor, reminiscent of decaying flesh. This powerful scent, combined with the plant's deep burgundy color, evolved as a strategy to attract pollinators like carrion beetles and flesh flies.

Historically, the Corpse Flower has been both a subject of scientific curiosity and cultural significance. Since its discovery in the late 19th century, it has been a coveted specimen in botanical gardens worldwide due to its infrequent bloom and captivating presence.

In its native habitat, it holds cultural importance, often being associated with local legends and folklore. The Corpse Flower, with its combination of size, scent, and rarity, offers a compelling glimpse into the intricate and diverse world of plant evolution and adaptation.

How Many Corpse Flowers Does the Missouri Botanical Garden Contain?

The Missouri Botanical Gardens, one of the world's premier sanctuaries and conservatories for rare plant life, have hosted 12 Corpse Blooms since 2008, when they received four Corpse flowerings. Currently, they contain two flowering Corpse plants, Octavia and her recent clone, which split earlier this year.

Octavia has flowered three times before and is one of the premier sights to see at the Botanical Gardens due to her size, rarity, and productivity. The Corpse Flower is endangered due to deforestation, with less than 1,000 individuals estimated in the wild.

Conservation efforts, including the cultivation of Corpse Flowers in botanical gardens worldwide, play a critical role in raising awareness about the species and the broader issues of habitat destruction and conservation.

When and Where Can I See the Rare Corpse Flower?

According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Octavia is set to flower between July 25-29th, 2023, with her clone following a week later. Visitors to the Botanical Gardens in the last week of July and the first week of August can expect to see one of the two plants in bloom.

However, if you cannot make it to St. Louis for the event, a live stream of the flower is available for all to see at the Linnean House.

The Linnean House at the Missouri Botanical Gardens is the oldest continuously operating public greenhouse west of the Mississippi River. Constructed in 1882, this historic structure has served as a living testament to the ever-evolving world of botanical study and conservation.

The housing of the Corpse Flower, alongside other rare species in the Linnean House, underscores the Missouri Botanical Garden's commitment to preserving, studying, and showcasing the diverse tapestry of plant life.

While the Corpse Flower is sure to be the main event in upcoming weeks, there are thousands of rare and common species to explore.
Stop By Lehmann House During Your Next Visit to the Botanical Gardens
The Missouri Botanical Gardens is more than just a display of nature's splendor; it's a testament to the enduring commitment to plant conservation and education.

Within its diverse collection, the Missouri Botanical Gardens are a beacon of botanical history and dedication, housing some of the world's most unique and intriguing specimens, such as the Corpse Flower.

Blooming infrequently and spectacularly, the Corpse Flower is a must-see attraction at the Botanical Gardens during your stay in St. Louis.

When choosing a place to stay during your visit, check out accommodations at Lehmann House Bed and Breakfast. We're just a five minute drive from the Gardens as well as centrally located near the city's best attractions.

So check out OUR ROOMS and either CALL US or BOOK ONLINE to get started right away! Octavia and her clone will be blooming any day now!

Written by Creative Copywriter Chris Davies


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