This weekend at Denver Botanic Gardens, you can see — and smell — something fascinatingly rare: the blooming of a corpse flower named Lil Stinker.
The Amorphophallus titanum, known colloquially as a corpse flower, is a gigantic tropical plant that, when briefly in bloom, emits an incredible odor that often draws long lines from curious plant enthusiasts.
“This odor is a mechanism for the plant to draw in pollinators, including carrion beetles and flies, from as far as a mile away,” Denver Botanic Gardens said on its website, noting that a corpse flower could bloom as often as every 2-3 years. The gardens are home to two such flowers: Stinker and its mini version Lil Stinker, currently found in the Tropical Conservatory through the weekend.
Once Lil Stinker opens up, the clock is ticking — you’ve only got 24-36 hours to enjoy the s̶m̶e̶l̶l̶ spectacle. (Updated at 2:50 p.m. Friday, June 17: Lil Stinker has started to close up earlier than expected, the Botanic Gardens posted on social media, but we can confirm she is stunning in person and does indeed smell quite rank if you stick your nose close.)
AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post
People clamor to look at and photograph the corpse flower on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018.
Denver Botanic Gardens gave a visual preview of Lil Stinker’s big moment on social media:
Lil’ Stinker Bloom Alert! You can see (and maybe smell) a corpse flower in the Tropical Conservatory. Lil’ Stinker last bloomed in 2016. We anticipate the flower remaining open for 24-36 hours. Advance, time-entry tickets required. No extended hours. https://t.co/zGKP4nOcg3 pic.twitter.com/HfTLmqY5Fs
— Denver Botanic Gardens (@denverbotanic) June 17, 2022
If you want to check it out, advance, time-entry tickets are required. There will be no extended hours, but the Denver Botanic Gardens are open 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The last possible admission time each day is 7 p.m.
Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York St., (720) 865-3500, botanicgardens.org