First of 3 corpse flowers blooms in DC

WASHINGTON — One of three malodorous flowers has started to bloom in D.C.

The first of three corpse flowers at the U.S. Botanic Garden started to open Saturday night. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)
The first of three corpse flowers at the U.S. Botanic Garden started to open Saturday night. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)

According to the garden’s website, this is the first time in North America that an institution has three blooming at the same time. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)
According to the garden’s website, this is the first time in North America that an institution has three blooming at the same time. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)

The smelliest time to sniff these buds is at night and into the early morning. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)
The smelliest time to sniff these buds is at night and into the early morning. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)

The smell is described as similar to the stench of rotting flesh. When each of the flowers blooms, it will release a malodorous stench for roughly six to eight hours with the bloom lasting between one and two days. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)
The smell is described as similar to the stench of rotting flesh. When each of the flowers blooms, it will release a malodorous stench for roughly six to eight hours with the bloom lasting between one and two days. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)

Because of the first flower’s peak, the U.S. Botanic Garden will extend its hours Sunday, Aug. 20 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)
Because of the first flower’s peak, the U.S. Botanic Garden will extend its hours Sunday, Aug. 20 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)

This will be the first bloom for both plants. The one with the twin flowers is estimated to be 12 years old. The single bloom plant is only five years old, which is unusually young. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)
This will be the first bloom for both plants. The one with the twin flowers is estimated to be 12 years old. The single bloom plant is only five years old, which is unusually young. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)

Corpse flowers don’t bloom annually — the wait between blooms can be anywhere from a few years to a decade. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)
Corpse flowers don’t bloom annually — the wait between blooms can be anywhere from a few years to a decade. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)

A look at the growth of the 2016 corpse flower. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)
A look at the growth of the 2016 corpse flower. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)

Elliot Norman with the flowers on Aug. 18. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)
Elliot Norman with the flowers on Aug. 18. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)

One of the three corpse flowers at the U.S. Botanic Garden expected to bloom in the next few days stands at 91 inches on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)
One of the three corpse flowers at the U.S. Botanic Garden expected to bloom in the next few days stands at 91 inches on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)

Three corpse flowers are set to bloom at the U.S. Botanic Garden in D.C. The two smaller flowers stand at 47 and 61 inches on Aug. 19, 2017. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)
Three corpse flowers are set to bloom at the U.S. Botanic Garden in D.C. The two smaller flowers stand at 47 and 61 inches on Aug. 19, 2017. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)

The three corpse flowers at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 19, 2017, are expected to bloom in the next few days. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)
The three corpse flowers at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 19, 2017, are expected to bloom in the next few days. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)

Here is a view of the inside of a corpse flower taken on Aug. 3, 2016. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)

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The first of three corpse flowers at the U.S. Botanic Garden started to open Saturday night. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)
According to the garden’s website, this is the first time in North America that an institution has three blooming at the same time. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)
The smelliest time to sniff these buds is at night and into the early morning. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)
The smell is described as similar to the stench of rotting flesh. When each of the flowers blooms, it will release a malodorous stench for roughly six to eight hours with the bloom lasting between one and two days. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)
Because of the first flower’s peak, the U.S. Botanic Garden will extend its hours Sunday, Aug. 20 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)
This will be the first bloom for both plants. The one with the twin flowers is estimated to be 12 years old. The single bloom plant is only five years old, which is unusually young. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)
Corpse flowers don’t bloom annually — the wait between blooms can be anywhere from a few years to a decade. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)
A look at the growth of the 2016 corpse flower. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)
Elliot Norman with the flowers on Aug. 18. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)
One of the three corpse flowers at the U.S. Botanic Garden expected to bloom in the next few days stands at 91 inches on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)
Three corpse flowers are set to bloom at the U.S. Botanic Garden in D.C. The two smaller flowers stand at 47 and 61 inches on Aug. 19, 2017. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)
The three corpse flowers at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 19, 2017, are expected to bloom in the next few days. (Courtesy U.S. Botanic Garden)

The first of three corpse flowers at the U.S. Botanic Garden started to open Saturday night. According to the garden’s website, this is the first time in North America that an institution has three blooming at the same time.

The smelliest time to sniff these buds is at night and into the early morning. The smell is described as similar to the stench of rotting flesh. When each of the flowers blooms, it will release a malodorous stench for roughly six to eight hours with the bloom lasting between one and two days.

Because of the first flower’s peak, the U.S. Botanic Garden will extend its hours Sunday, Aug. 20 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. It will be open until 10 p.m. during peak bloom days.

Have a look at the U.S. Botanic Garden’s corpse-flower cam:

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.


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