Corpse plant expected to bloom

File photo of a titan arum or "corpse plant" in bloom
File photo of a titan arum or "corpse plant" in bloom

Just weeks after “Mr. Stinky,” one of Foster Botanical Garden’s Amorphophallus titanum (Corpse plant) bloomed, three more of the garden’s 10 rare plants are anticipated to follow suit over the next several days. One flower is expected to bloom over the weekend and two more are likely to bloom next week.

Foster Botanical Garden is normally open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., daily, except for Christmas and New Year’s Day. The garden will remain open until 6 p.m. this Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday to allow extra viewing time.

Native to Sumatra, Indonesia, the endangered Amorphophallus titanum is the largest unbranched inflorescence in the plant kingdom. Contributing to this plant’s exotic allure is its pungent odor of rotting flesh, which serves to attract the carrion beetles that pollinate the flower. These short-lived flowers only bloom once every three to five years.

Contributing to this impressive public collection on display are other plants in the same Aroid plant family:

  • Amorphophallus konjac, source of the Japanese yam cake konnyaku
  • Brightly colored Anthurium flowers
  • Various ornamental cultivars of Taro (or Kalo)

Foster Botanical Garden, located at 50 North Vineyard Boulevard in downtown Honolulu, is the oldest of the city’s botanical gardens. The garden displays a mature and impressive collection of tropical plants. Some of the magnificent trees in this 14-acre garden were planted in the 1850s by Dr. William Hillebrand. The garden also includes a palm collection, the Lyon Orchid Garden, hybrid orchid display, the Prehistoric Glen, and a gift shop.

Cost for admission at Foster Garden is: $5.00 – general, 13 years and older; $3.00 – Hawaii resident 13 years and older with ID, $1.00 – Child 6 to 12 years old; free – Child 5 years old and under (must be with adult). Call 522-7066 for information.

Please “Like” Foster Botanical Garden on Facebook to find out when the Amorphophallus titanum blooms.

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