Rare corpse flower nears peak bloom at Olbrich

corpse flower titun arum.jpg

MADISON, Wis. - A flower that blooms for a total of 24 to 36 hours every seven to 10 years is getting ready to reach peak bloom at Olbrich Botanical Gardens.

Corpse flowers have an unpredictable bloom cycle. The flower in Olbrich has been growing an average of 4 to 5 inches per day for a week and has slowed down to under 3 inches per day, which means the bloom is nearing.

According to a release, the corpse flower is infamously known for the stench of rotting flesh during the 24-36 hour window of peak bloom.

This corpse flower, also known as titan arum, is one of four cared for by Olbrich's conservatory team. This one started in 2002 by seed from the "Big Bucky" titan at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Titans flower only four to five times during its 40-year lifespan and reach up to 8 feet in height in culmination. To bloom, the flower has to store seven to 10 years worth of energy.

The corpse flower that will bloom soon in the Bolz Conservatory last flowered in October 2009.

Growth for the flower started in May 2018 and moved from the greenhouse on June 1.

According to the release, visitors can watch the rare plant on its progression from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Olbrich plans to announce peak bloom on its Facebook page and e-newsletter.

Once the bloom happens, it will only last a day or two at most. Peak stink happens a few hours after opening, so it's best to get to the conservatory as soon as possible to witness the rare bloom.