Uncle Fester

In 2016 the Vancouver Parks Board acquired a botanical oddity native to Sumatra, Indonesia. On June 21, 2018 horticulturalists at Vancouver’s Bloedel Conservatory spotted a 28 centimetre bud on titan arum, the world’s largest and rarest flowering plant. commonly known as corpse or carrion flower. Over a 40 year lifespan this prehistoric behemoth might bloom 3 times for 24-48 hours. Bloom characterized by the stench of rotting meat, mother nature’s ruse to trick carrion eating beetle and insect pollinators. Gardeners at Bloedel dubbed their prize Uncle Fester.

Barely 6 years old, Uncle Fester wasn’t supposed to bloom for several years. Fester’s petals started to open Sunday, for 2 days public frenzy to catch a whiff of Fester meant waiting in line for several hours. A five minute walk from home, I considered joining the queue last night. A co-worker’s text – “waited an hour and fifteen, petals closed, no smell” – kept me home. All the same, putrid or not, Fester is a natural wonder.

The lineup to see (and smell) the flower, which is expected to emit its stench for up to 48 hours, stretched out front of the Bloedel Conservatory on Monday morning. (Margaret Gallagher/CBC)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/corpse-flower-begins-emitting-putrid-smell-1.4748375

2 thoughts on “Uncle Fester

  1. I remember reading about these when I was about 6. The idea fascinate me. Meanwhile, the first agave flower in eight years has bloomed at the National Trust’s Overbeck house and gardens near Salcombe in Devon. They take 20 years to mature, flower, then die. High price to pay for sex, I’d say.

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