A Stink Grows in Brooklyn

The news is filled with stories about a plant that bloomed late yesterday at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Known as amorphophallus titanum and nicknamed “Baby,” the species is remarkable for its rarity, its size and its aroma, which is said to smell like putrid, rotting meat.

The amorphophallus titanum, popularly called the “corpse flower,” takes decades to bloom (this is the first flowering in New York since 1939) and the blossom lasts only a few days. Hordes of admirers and reporters have been flocking to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, all of them anxious to get a whiff of Baby’s remarkable smell.

The plant’s single flower is enormous and strangely beautiful. Unfortunately, most of the visitors who arrived today in search of its famed stench couldn’t smell a thing. The gardeners overseeing the plant patiently explained that once the flower blooms the smell comes “in waves” during the first eight or so hours. “You should have been here at 6:00 this morning,” said one. “It really stank then.”

One well-heeled suburban matron asked a security guard to describe the plant’s aroma. “Well,” he began, “you know what a dead rat smells like?”

“Good God, no!,” she exclaimed, recoiling in horror.

The guard pondered for a moment, trying to think of another example to offer the woman. Finally, he turned to another visitor. “Do you know what a dead rat smells like?,” he asked.

“Of course,” came the swift reply. “I’m from Brooklyn!”

Baby at the peak of its bloom Posted by Picasa

Daily News photographer on a ladder Posted by Picasa

News crew from Channel 9 Posted by Picasa

So, what do YOU think of the stinky flower? Posted by Picasa

  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden
  • Blooming of Amorphophallus titanum
  • Plant Web cam
  • Brooklyn’s Bloom, a Sight (and Stench) Not to Be Missed
  • Forget Bees. This Flower Lures Humans.
  • Blooming Flower Causing Big Stink
  • Stinky Plant Ready to Bloom in Brooklyn
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    3 Responses to A Stink Grows in Brooklyn

    1. Fidget says:

      I hadnt realized it had been so long since there was a bloom in new York. I remember hearing of one blooming recently and I can not fathom why people PURPOSLY want to smell it!


    2. Wren says:

      Did you get to smell it?


    3. annulla says:

      I spent a few hours at the Garden, popping in and out and sniffing all around Baby, but I couldn’t smell a thing.–>


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