The New York Botanical Garden may soon become home to what has been described as the smell of rotting flesh.
The Amorphophallus Titanum, or corpse flower, known for its pungent odor similar to that of rotting flesh, is known to have a bloom cycle that cannot be easily predicted.
In 1937, the first specimen of the flower bloomed in the Western Hemisphere. Two years later, in 1939, the second specimen bloomed.
The Botanical Garden notes that the flower, a native of Sumatra, Indonesia, will repeat its cycle nearly 80 years later. While the flower has a bloom cycle of 24 to 36 hours, experts expect the cycle to occur this week.
As reported by the New York Times, the corpse flower could bloom on either Wednesday or Thursday. “Each day of careful tending and feeding has led up to this moment: a brief yet glorious window in which the enormous plant (up to eight feet high) will unfurl, displaying the striking red interior and uncanny scent to which it owes its name,” New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) said.
“This is the first time that a blooming titan-arum has been put on display at the Garden since 1939, and this unique plant is unpredictable – it may be in flower for only one or two days.”
The live streaming of the event can be viewed here.
“We’re eagerly awaiting its bloom, just like everybody else,” an NYBG spokeswoman said.
The bud of the flower developed on July 15, and the flower itself was transferred to the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory on July 18. There, it will remain on display in the Palms of the World Gallery.
As noted by National Geographic, the smell of the flower comes from several molecules. One of these is timethylamine, which smells like rotting fish; the other is isovaleric acid, which smells like sweat.