The U.S. Botanic Garden, located at 100 Maryland Ave. SW, is exhibiting not one, but three giant “corpse flowers,” sometimes referred to as “stinky” plants for the unpleasant odor they emit immediately after blooming. The odor has been described as a combination of garlic and dead fish.
The blooming is very rapid and brief, occurring in a matter of a few hours, but only once in approximately five years! What is amazing is that the Botanic Garden has not one, but three of these remarkable plants, blooming within a week or two of each other.
Here are two photos taken by Diana Bashardost five days apart, before and after the second of the three corpse flowers bloomed. The height is 50 inches. The plant behind it is 80 inches high and the one to the left (which has bloomed and collapsed) reached a peak of 91 inches.
A live-stream webcam video of the blooming may be found at https://youtu.be/uJWtYQEANsE
A webcam video taken days earlier (and can be found at
https://youtu.be/Jx6a7Pltxhg) shows the blooming of the left-most plant.
Further information and another webcam can be found at https://www.usbg.gov/three-
It’s interesting to note that the Botanic Garden, located between 1st and 3rd Streets SW on the National Mall is not part of the Smithsonian, but rather is part of the U.S. Capitol, under the Architect of the Capitol. Many of their plants are kept at their Nature Conservatory located in Anacostia.