Corpse flower, Amorphophallus titanum, Grimace. No matter what you call it, it smells. And you should take some time to go see it before it's gone.

Grimace is Nicholas Conservatory's resident corpse flower. It's called that because once the flower is in bloom it gives off the scent of rotting meat or burnt sugar when it opens.

It's a very unusual plant. It will take 7-20 years for a corpse flower to bloom the first time and then it will only bloom once every 3-10 years after that. It's also huge. It can grow up to 10 feet in height and will be several feet in diameter.

Grimace bloomed for the first time back in 2018, so we're pretty lucky that it's popping up again after just 3 years. If you're like me and missed the Grimace show in 2018 make sure you see it this week because there's one more weird thing about the corpse flower, the blooms only last 2 to 3 days. And once it's gone, it could be another decade for it to return so plan that trip now.

  • The plant's Latin name is Amorphophallus titanum
  • Grimace is 18 years old and was gifted to NCG by Huntington Botanical Gardens in California in 2011.
  • In 2018, Grimace measured 80.37 inches tall and 48 inches wide
  • On April 3, 2018 Grimace was repotted and the corm weighed 66.8 pounds
  • The species was discovered in 1878 by Italian botanist Odoardo Beccari
  • The flower's smell helps attract flesh flies and carrion beetles, which pollinate the flower while they look for rotting meat.
  • The plant is listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Regular rates to Nicholas Conservatory apply to see Grimace. You can watch a live feed of Grimace on their Facebook page here. While you're there, don't forget to check out their Savage Garden exhibit that features a bunch of carnivorous plants that will excite kids of any age (myself included.)

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