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Corpse flower blooms in Christchurch

Christchurch Botanic Garden celebrates corpse flower blooming.

It’s summer and the start of a new year which means flowers are blooming and people are going on summer adventures. So, it was perfect timing when Christchurch Botanic Garden gave the people a new experience when their corpse flower bloomed on the afternoon of January 6th.

Many locals waited in line on Tuesday for over 30 minutes to see the flower that smells like roadkill and off-meat.

This was the first time the flower had bloomed in 12 years. Spectators happily took photos and got a good sniff of the corpse flower. For many, it was their first time seeing and smelling the flower.

Christchurch Botanic Garden wasn’t the first New Zealand Garden this year to have this smelly plant bloom. On January 3rd, Auckland Domain Wintergarden’s corpse plant bloomed at 2pm on Friday. Crowds also gathered to smell and see that flower. Although, this was not the first time the Auckland corpse flower has bloomed, it bloomed in 2013 and then again in 2015.

The flowers original name is Amorphophallus titanum and is native to the Western Indonesian rainforests. The corpse flowers are endangered, as there are only 100 recorded corpse plants left in the world. Which is a shame because these flowers only smell between 24-48 hours after blooming, so not many people will get the opportunity to smell one.

The plant can grow up to three meters tall and doesn’t die after blooming, instead if it is pollinated the plant produces little berries on it. (Not good for humans to eat.) Then the plant goes dormant until it sprouts another single leaf.

If you ever want to go see this beautiful smelly flower that looks like something out of a movie, you may have to wait a while, as the flowers sometimes can take 7-10 years or 2-3 years to bloom again. There is no telling when next the Auckland or Christchurch Amorphophallus titanum will bloom. So keep a look out!

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