Rare Corpse Flower In Bloom At Phipps Conservatory

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A flower that packs a pungent punch is finally blooming at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

Barbara, the rare corpse flower, only blooms every five to 10 years, but it’s the flower’s smell that gets all the attention.

They say it smells like rotten meat.

“Where they are native to in Sumatra, flies and beetles and things like that really like that smell. They would normally visit rotting carcasses and things like that, so they are attracted to that,” said Jennifer Davit, the curator of horticulture at Phipps Conservatory.

Phipps actually has two corpse flowers. Fittingly, they are named Barbara and Romero, from the horror movie “Night of the Living Dead.” And this is Barbara’s time to shine, or should we say stink.

“If I were that flower, I would be unhappy that that was my aroma,” Christelle Parker, a Phipps visitor.

If you’d like to see the blooming flower in person, you need to act fast. Officials expect the bloom to only last about 12-48 hours.

To let as many people as possible see it, Phipps will stay open until 10 p.m. Friday.

“They are coming just to see the plant, so for me, as a horticulturalist, it’s sort of like my dream day to be able to talk about plants all day and have people interested, especially little kids,” said Davit.

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