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Fester the Corpse Flower is Set to Bloom!

Andy Grinsfelder

In July 2014, the Botanical Gardens acquired three Amorphophallus titanum corms and one named “Morty” bloomed on June 10, 2018.  The smallest of the three corms, “Fester” is following in Morty’s footsteps and is ready to bloom. 

Amorphophallus titanum, corpse flower (its common name), is in the arum family and is native to the rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia.  They are famous for their huge blooms and their horrible smell, like rotting flesh, while in bloom.  Corpse flowers can bloom every 6-10 years, making it a rare sight to see and smell. 

It is hard to predict when the plant may be in full bloom but our best estimate of bloom time would be in two-three weeks. Growing quickly, Fester can grow about two to eight inches per day and can reach three to six feet tall.  When it is in full bloom, the flower, and its accompanying stench, lasts only 24-48 hours. When they are not blooming they send up enormous leaf structures to collect energy to bloom again in the future. Since the Botanical Gardens adopted him, Fester has only sent up one leaf structure in their care. 

Fester will be on public display inside the Botanical Gardens and depending on the bloom, will be on display for up to two weeks after the full bloom.  After it flowers the plant wilts and the stench fades. During its short bloom, the Botanical Gardens plans to have extended hours. 

In coordination with Morty and Fester’s blooms, the Botanical Gardens is conducting a plant acquisition campaign to enhance the Botanical Gardens’ strange and unique collection.  Titled, Strange Likes Company, this fundraising campaign will help acquire plants like the Monkey Face Orchid, the Rainbow Eucalyptus, the Buddha’s Hand Citron and more. Donations can be made at www.buffalogardens.com.

Updates will be available on the Botanical Gardens’ website, Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram accounts - @BuffaloGardens and through Morty’s Twitter account @MortyStinks. Like and follow to keep up to date with Fester’s progress.  Use hashtags #CorpseFlower and #FunkyFester when posting!

For more information visit www.buffalogardens.com. The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing appreciation for and knowledge of plant life and its connection to people and cultures through its documented living plant collection, historic conservatory, education, research and exhibits.

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