When the San Francisco Conservatory's resident Corpse flower, “Scarlet,” blooms, it'll bring the smell of rotting flesh to the city.
That's set to happen within the next two weeks, as KRON4 reported.
The Corpse flower, scientifically known as Amorphophallus titanum is notorious for its limited blooming period, which lasts a mere two to three days per year, if we're lucky. In some instances, this enigmatic flower may only grace us with its presence once every seven to ten years.
The 5-foot-tall Corpse flower species is famous for its distinctive odor, reminiscent of decaying flesh. The Chronicle reported last year that the smell can linger for over half a mile. Its infrequency only adds to the mix of awe, curiosity, and a tinge of repulsion among flower enthusiasts.
The Conservatory of Flowers is home to five plants from this species, as we reported last year when another plant known as Chanel the Titan.
The SF Conservatory determines when the flower is ready to bloom from one telltale sign: a pale green, folded area peeks through the center of the bud, indicating the impending unfurling of the burgundy skirt (spathe).
According to KRON4, there are less than 1,000 of these plants remaining in the wild, and conservation efforts have become crucial to ensure their survival.
The peak bloom typically occurs at night, and the Conservatory of Flowers which usually closes at 4 typically stays open for people to come see (and smell). It's apparently been known to induce tears.
Image via SF Conservatory of Flowers.