Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stinky News for 'Corpse Flower' Fans: No Bloom This Time at Missouri Botanical Garden

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stinky News for 'Corpse Flower' Fans: No Bloom This Time at Missouri Botanical Garden

Article excerpt

The anticipation is over, and the sadness kicks in.

Octavia the "corpse flower" will not produce a stinky bloom.

For weeks, visitors and employees at the Missouri Botanical Garden eagerly anticipated the rotting-meat stench of the huge flower, known as the titan arum.

Instead, she'll go into a dormant stage, and maybe she will bloom again.

"Sad news, corpse flower fans," the garden posted on Facebook at about noon Monday. "It appears that Octavia used so much energy growing that she does not have anything left to support a bloom. Though we are no longer expecting her to open, the plant will remain on display over the next few days as we monitor her decline."

At 8 feet, 1 inch tall, Octavia was the tallest corpse flower the garden has owned.

Garden officials thought Octavia would bloom sometime between July 1 and 8.

Like impatient in-laws, they watched as she grew … and grew … and grew. They adjusted the live webcam at the Linnean House, where Octavia is on display, to capture the growth. People watched from their homes and offices.

The online live chat got a little weird.

"ITS GONNA BLOOM ANY SECOND I CAN CHLOROFEEL IT!" one viewer wrote.

"Would you want everyone watching you open up your stinky interior to attract insects? I don't think so. Tnx," wrote someone else, posing as the corpse flower.

But as people frowned at their calendars and marked off the days, they wondered if something was wrong. …

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