Rare, smelly flower expected to bloom soon in Orange - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Rare, smelly flower expected to bloom soon in Orange

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Standing nearly 6 feet tall and weighing more than 30 pounds, a giant plant currently on display at the Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center in Orange, is one of the rarest flowers in the world.

"Maybe more than 100 have bloomed in cultivation since the late 1800s," said Shangri La horticulture specialist Jennifer Buckner.

Native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, it's known as the Corpse Flower, named for the pungent odor it gives off when it blooms, similar to the smell of rotting flesh.

"It's very strong... you can smell from quite a distance," said Buckner.

They named it Lenore after a poem by Edgar Allen Poe about the death of a young woman. Buckner says they bought Lenore from a botanical supply company in Massachusetts back in 2011. It had been in storage, until Wednesday. A rapid growth spurt over the past few days has Buckner anticipating a smelly, but spectacular bloom very soon.

"It can be unpredictable, but we're guessing Sunday or Monday," Buckner said.

Buckner says it will only stay in bloom for about 48 hours until it starts to wilt, so your chances to see it, and smell it, are limited.

Shangri La invites everyone to come view the flower. The gardens will be open Sunday from noon to 5pm and Monday from 9am to 5pm for the special event.

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