Hundreds Gather At Abandoned Gas Station To Witness A Rare Corpse Flower Bloom

It’s rare to witness a corpse flower bloom, but even more rare to see one in bloom in a city. Residents of Almeda, California got to see just that when a flower in bloom appeared at an abandoned gas station.

According to the SFGate, a nursery owner named Solomon Leyva noticed the signs that the rare flower was about to bloom.

Rather than keep the display to himself, he decided to move the plant to a downtown location where others could witness the spectacle.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

According to the Chicago Botanic Garden, corpse flowers, scientifically known as Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanum), are considered vulnerable and there are few left in the wild. These flowers bloom once every 7-10 years and the bloom lasts just one day before wilting, so it’s a rare event to catch.

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Leyva estimated that around 1,200 people had stopped by the gas station the first day to visit the plant, according to the Associated Press. ABC7 News further reported that the line of people to see the flower in bloom stretched half a block at times, as people crowded around to get a peek.

Photo: flickr/Victoria Pickering

One woman who goes by @dearpancakecards on Instagram got to see the incredible event in person. She shared a photo of the plant and said, “Got to meet this blooming corpse flower yesterday. A cool stinky rarity.”

Corpse flowers got their name because of the stinky smell they omit. The Chicago Botanic Garden described the smell as “a combination of Limburger cheese, garlic, rotting fish, and smelly feet.”

Photo: Instagram/
dearpancakecards

They further explained that the plants produce a putrid smell to attract their pollinators: carrion beetles and flesh flies, which are both attracted to the smell of rotting flesh and decaying meat.

@dearpancakecards said in the comments of her photo that the flower’s bloom quickly dropped and Leyva has since taken it home. She said, “She has long since dropped her top and wilted down to bones that will take many years to regrow (and her owner took her home).”

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