Rare ‘corpse plant’ begins full bloom


A rare “corpse plant” has started its rare blooming phase at the Panaewa rainforest Zoo and Gardens, according to the Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation.

When in full bloom, the giant rainforest plant amorphophallus titanum releases sulfur that smells like rotting corpses to attract pollinating insects. That’s why it’s known as the “corpse plant.”

Full bloom is expected to occur at the zoo today and last 48 hours.

Blooming frequency varies greatly, often taking place only once every decade.

The Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens has two corpse plants that artist Hiroshi Tagami donated in 2002. One of the plants bloomed in 2011, attracting large crowds of onlookers. The other, “Stinky 2,” is growing in the exhibit located next to the zoo’s feral pig and across from the large mixed-parrot aviary.

Located off of Stainback Highway about five miles south of Hilo, the 12-acre Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens is the only natural tropical rainforest zoo in the United States.

Admission is free.

For more information, please call 959-7224 or email panaewazoo@co.hawaii.hi.us.

 

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