Two corpse flowers are expected to bloom this week at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino.
Stinkie grew 2.5 inches on Sunday to 76.5 inches and Green Boy from 1.5 inches to 71.5 inches, according to Susan Turner-Lowe, vice president of communications and marketing for The Huntington.
Limited in-person tours with required masks will begin Wednesday at the conservatory, which is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Tuesday.
Reservations are not required to visit during the week, but the capacity of the Conservatory will be limited. Reservations are required for weekends and bank holidays.
A live stream of the Corpse Flowers is available here. These will be the 13th and 14th Corpse Blossoms to bloom at the Huntington since August 1999 and the second and third this month. Stankosaurus Rex bloomed on July 5.
Amorphophallus titanum, also known as Titan Arum and Corpse Flower, has been called the largest flower in the world, but is technically an “inflorescence” or cluster of flowers. It can reach over 8 feet in height when it blooms, opening to a diameter of 4 feet.
When in one of its ultra-rare flowers, it gives off an odor close to rotting flesh, attracting insects that pollinate the flowers deep down.
The flowering plant produces two key gases – dimethyl disulfide and dimethyl trisulfide – which are also found in rotting animals and vegetables, Turner-Lowe said.
What prompts a particular plant to start the flowering process remains largely a mystery, Turner-Lowe said, but the corpse flower tends to bloom in warm weather.
When a corpse flower was first displayed at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in the late 19th century, at least one Victorian woman reportedly passed out when she smelled a whiff of the flower.
The flower was first exhibited in the United States in 1937 at the New York Botanical Garden.