HILO, Hawaii: “Stinky 1” was in full bloom on Wednesday.
That is the name that was given to the The Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens’ Amorphophallus titanum, or corpse flower, which is given the nickname due to its distinctive odor when in full bloom.
This makes the second corpse flower bloom at the Rainforest Zoo this year; the first happened over the Easter holiday.
A number of local newspaper articles foreshadowed the day’s sudden bloom. Hawaii County officials issued this media release on shortly after the extraordinary moment occurred:
The Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens announces the rare flowering of a plant that has the world’s largest un-branched inflorescence (flower). “Stinky 1” is in full bloom today!
Amorphophallus titanum also known as titan arum has the common name of Corpse plant due to its distinctive odor when in full bloom. This “fragrance” resembles rotting meat, to attract carrion feeding beetles and Flesh Flies that pollinate it.
The zoo has two Corpse plants that were donated in 2002 by Artist Hiroshi Tagami. Both plants were estimated to be two years old when they were donated, and have been growing at the zoo for the last nine years.
In April of this year, the zoo was fortunate to have on exhibit a blooming Corpse Plant on loan from a local collector. With this blooming of a Corpse Plant that belongs to the zoo, everyone that missed smelling (and seeing) the first bloom has another chance to visit the zoo for this rare occurrence.
The bloom just tops six feet today, and is located next to the feral pig and across from the large mixed parrot aviary.
Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens is open daily from 9:00 a.m. til 4:00 p.m., except for Christmas and New Years day.
The county also distributed this photo (right) of the plant taken during the moment of its putrid glory.
In this video, we spend three minutes with zookeeper Eric Craig, to talk about this rare event 12 years in the making.