Daniel Stowe’s corpse flower blooming now

Published 8:43 am Tuesday, July 14, 2015

BELMONT Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden’s rare and never-before-seen 50-inch Corpse Flower named Morphius opened for the very first time at the Garden on Monday afternoon.

The plant is likely to remain open only for a short period of time lasting up to a few days and visitors are encouraged to see the plant before it wilts. Also known as a Titan Arum or Amorphophallus titanum, Morphius will emit a putrid odor of what has been described as rotting flesh among other unpleasant smells once the flower structure is completely open and ready for pollination.

The garden will extend viewing hours and will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and Wednesday, July 15 to allow visitors a chance to see (and smell) this extremely unique plant, although it is not certain how long Morphius will stay open. Visitors are encouraged to check the Garden’s website (http://www.dsbg.org/events/news/titanarum/) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/DanielStoweBotanicalGarden) for updates on this spectacular horticultural occurrence.


At a height of up to ten feet, the Titan Arum produces one of the largest flower structures once every three to 10 years and emits one of the most pungent odors of all plants when the flowers are ready for pollination. It’s referred to as a “flower structure” or “inflorescence” because the structure actually consists of the spathe (wrapped around the spadix that has a flower-like appearance when it opens) and the spadix that is the flower-bearing spike that emerges from the spathe. Rows of flowers can actually be found at the base of the spadix. The plant is native to the rainforests of Sumatra, a large Indonesian island, therefore the garden’s budding plant is currently on display in the Orchid Conservatory among an array of tropical plants. The garden acquired this particular plant from Carolina Orchids early in 2012 and the exact age of the specimen is unknown.