The corpse flower bloom at New York Botanical Gardens

If you were lucky enough to be in New York and happened to visit the Botanical Gardens this past July, then you likely had a chance to rub shoulders with others to catch a glimpse (and a whiff) of the corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum). 

Let me first start off by saying that as a naturalized New Yorker, I rarely like to wait in line for anything. I know it's a bit snobbish, but why waste the day (or night) waiting in line when you can go to another perfectly wonderful restaurant, club, event (or fill in the blank here). That being said, when I caught wind that a corpse flower was going to be in bloom at the New York Botanical Gardens, I quickly grabbed my membership card and hopped on the train. Exceptions can always be made. 

I wound up waiting in line for around two hours, but the day couldn't have been more lovely—and my neighbors in queue were quite knowledgable about all things botanic, so it was marvelous having a tête-à-tête with them. The Botanical Gardens hadn't had a blooming corpse flower (also known as a titan-arum) for over 80 years, so this was going to be a real sight to behold. Additionally, the press adequately warned people that it may smell like rotten meat, as the corpse flower throws off quite the smell to attract certain insects, like flies, to pollinate it. I detected the smell, and I got pretty close to the flower (as you'll see in the pictures below), but honestly it wasn't gut-wrenching like some outlets described. If you missed the flower, you can take a look at some of the images below and The Botanical Gardens also posted a gorgeous timelapse of the flower opening here. 🌿

 

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I might have waited a good two hours in line to see the corpse flower, but the weather was glorious and I got to talk nerdy with my botanically-inclined neighbors while in queue. 

I might have waited a good two hours in line to see the corpse flower, but the weather was glorious and I got to talk nerdy with my botanically-inclined neighbors while in queue. 

The corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum) looks like a strange decoration that you'd affix to a giant's wedding cake. It looks other-worldly and utterly captivating. I tried to step back among the crowd to give the inflorescence some perspective. 

The corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum) looks like a strange decoration that you'd affix to a giant's wedding cake. It looks other-worldly and utterly captivating. I tried to step back among the crowd to give the inflorescence some perspective. 

A close up shot of the corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum). 

A close up shot of the corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum). 

A mother and son do their best artistic inspiration of the corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum) in bloom, memorializing the moment in colored pencils and pastels. 

A mother and son do their best artistic inspiration of the corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum) in bloom, memorializing the moment in colored pencils and pastels. 

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Queen Anne's lace with bee fly and green bottle fly. The Queen Anne's lace, which is a member of the carrot family, attracts fly-pollinators by flaunting a little black dot in the center of the flower head. Flies often come down to "mate" with it, mistaking it for a female fly.

Queen Anne's lace with bee fly and green bottle fly. The Queen Anne's lace, which is a member of the carrot family, attracts fly-pollinators by flaunting a little black dot in the center of the flower head. Flies often come down to "mate" with it, mistaking it for a female fly.

Lupine (Lupinus sp.) in full bloom. 

Lupine (Lupinus sp.) in full bloom. 

Larkspur (Delphinium sp.) flaunting their purple and blue flowers. 

Larkspur (Delphinium sp.) flaunting their purple and blue flowers. 

A yellow iris (Iris pseudacorus) displays its ruffles in one of New York Botanical Gardens indoor gardens. 

A yellow iris (Iris pseudacorus) displays its ruffles in one of New York Botanical Gardens indoor gardens. 

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