Thursday, October 04, 2018

Stinkin' at the Missouri Botanical Gardens

A rare corpse flower at the Missouri Botanical Gardens began its 24-hour long bloom so we (and a lot of other people) lined up to see it in the middle of the night.

The corpse flower really is a weird one. The corpse name comes from the rotten smell it emits when in bloom in order to attract flies and use them as a pollen vector.

One of the other corpse flowers present was in an earlier life stage, with one massive tree-like leaf.

Once the giant leaf dies after a year or two the plant lies dormant for another year or so before it starts to do its flower thing. It's not surprising that such a weird plant with one leaf is on the endangered list.

It didn't smell as bad as I had expected. I think maybe we caught it too early.

Per Wikipedia "analyses of chemicals released by the spadix show the stench includes dimethyl trisulfide (like limburger cheese), dimethyl disulfide, trimethylamine (rotting fish), isovaleric acid (sweaty socks), benzyl alcohol (sweet floral scent), phenol (like Chloraseptic), and indole (like feces)."

Stinky times indeed.

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