The corpse flower has started to bloom in Hilo

The corpse flower has started to bloom in Hilo

HILO, Hawaii – East Hawaii is excited to whiff the floral stench of rotting flesh for the third time in as many years.

A rare flowering of another corpse plant – amorphophallus titanum – is underway at the Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens.

The actual bloom takes a while to occur once the flowering starts. The 3-foot-tall bud of “Stinky 2” could bloom within the next two to three weeks, says Pam Mizuno, manager of the Pana‘ewa Recreation Complex.

August 26 newscast – Corpse Flower blooms (story 4)

Amorphophallus titanum is notorious for its distinctive aroma when in full bloom, hence the moniker of “corpse plant” or “corpse flower”. The odor serves a purpose. It attracts beetles and flesh flies that pollinate the plant.

Hawaii County Parks and Recreation had more in a media release:

In their native habitat of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, corpse plants bloom only a few times in 100 years. This sporadic blooming produces a flower that lasts only a couple days and can weigh hundreds of pounds.

Artist Hiroshi Tagami donated two corpse plants to the zoo in 2002. The plants, estimated to be two years old at the time of the donation, have been thriving in the zoo’s tropical environment. The first one bloomed in 2011, attracting large crowds of curious onlookers and wide-spread media coverage. The corpse flower is growing in the exhibit located next to the zoo’s feral pig and across from the large mixed-parrot aviary.

The pueo (Hawaiian owl) which shares the cage with the amorphophallus titanum appeared to be wary of its engorged cell mate on Sunday.

Big Island Video News covered both corpse plant blooms in 2011. Those videos are shared below.

Corpse Flower blooms at Hilo Zoo – April 26, 2011

Stinky 1″ corpse flower blooms – August 11, 2011