(Gallery, 14 photos) I’d planned on sharing some more L.A. Harbor shots from Friday, but instead, I simply HAVE to share pictures of Stinky, the famous Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus titanium), that I took today! As an occasional visitor, and now member, of the Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino, I’d read about the excitement and anticipation surrounding their resident corpse flower, and when it would bloom. Stinky, affectionately named by the Huntington’s staff, had been expected to bloom this past Wednesday-Friday, but didn’t. I checked for updates each day. When I read that Stinky had started blooming yesterday, late afternoon, my plans for this morning were sealed. Up early and on the freeway I went, and was happy to beat the crowds. Stinky is quite an unusual flower, huge, and very pretty. But, one thing I’ll mention, I didn’t notice any of the foul odor I’d read so much about. Perhaps because of the fans blowing, or the large space inside the Conservatory (photo below), or being kept at a distance, but I didn’t get a whiff of any disgusting smell. Probably just as well!
You’ll notice the resident Botanists gathered with various instruments. They were checking temperature and other indications as to best time to pollinate Stinky, using pollen they’d collected from another Corpse Flower at some other garden in San Diego area. The lady holding the diagram explained the process to those of us standing nearby. According to Wikipedia: “self-pollination is normally considered impossible, but in 1999, Huntington Botanical Garden botanists hand-pollinated their plant with its own pollen from ground-up male flowers. The procedure was successful, resulting in fruit and ten fertile seeds from which several seedlings eventually were produced. Additionally, a Titan Arum at Gustavus Adolphus College unexpectedly produced viable seed through self-pollination in 2011.” ~SueBee (photos by SueBee)