Corpse flower update: It's about to get stinky at Foster Botanical Garden

Corpse flower update: It's about to get stinky at Foster Botanical Garden
(Image: Foster Botanical Garden)
(Image: Foster Botanical Garden)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The not-so-sweet smell of the Amorphophallus titanum, more commonly known as the gnarly "Corpse Flower," is about to fill the air at Oahu's Foster Botanical Garden.

If you can brave the smell of a pilau pua, you may want to make a visit to the garden on Thursday.

Workers say the flower is about to bloom, and the first 24 hours is when the smell is most pungent.

It's a distinct smell that has been compared to that of rotting flesh.

The garden is even extending their hours to allow guests to get a whiff of the plant.

"Corpse Flower is opening!" the garden said in a Facebook post Wednesday. "Extended garden hours: Open until 6:00 pm today, Wednesday (3/21)
9:00 am to 6:00 pm Thursday (3/22) and Friday (3/23)."

If you can't make it, don't wait too long. The bloom typically only lasts for 48 hours.

According to, the rotting flesh smell is credited to the flower's natural instinct to attract pollinators. In this case, bees don't pollinate the flower — bugs like dung beetles, flesh flies and various carnivorous insects do. And that's the type of scent that attracts them.

Botanists also say the odor is a beautiful blend of chemicals similar to the smell of garlic, rotting fish, ammonia, cooked onions, limburger cheese and mothballs — just to name a few.

The plant is one of 10 mature plants at the garden.

To schedule a free guided tour and to catch a whiff of the stinky flower, call 808-522-7066.

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