The last time Putrella the Corpse Flower blossomed, we missed it by several hours. That was almost three years ago. So when I heard that she was blossoming again - open for only twenty-four hours, we worked our schedule to make sure we had the chance to experience her in all her glory.
The Corpse Flower is very rare. Most people will never see one in their lifetime. That's why it's so thrilling to have one right here in Edmonton. It flowers every three to seven years and is the largest unbranched fluorescence in the world. What that means is that, even though it looks like one huge flower, it's actually made up of a multitude of smaller ones, out of sight.
Corpse Flowers are so called because they reek. Their flower gives of the scent of rotting flesh to attract carrion beetles and flies, which pollinate it. The flower even raises its temperature during it's bloom to match the body temperature of a mammal. This increases the strength of the smell but takes a tremendous toll on the plant. It's a huge expenditure of energy; energy it takes three to seven years to build. This is why her bloom time is so short.
In between blooms she looks more like a small tree.
After seeing and smelling the Corpse Flower, we enjoyed the rest of the biomes of the muttart. We stopped to smell the flowers (the pretty smelling ones), the big kids challenged themselves with a scavenger hunt of plant species, and Cai ran around in ecstatic delight as only a toddler can.