HomeTop StoriesRare corpse flower blooms at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory

Rare corpse flower blooms at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory

Rare corpse flowers bloom, drawing hundreds of people to the Como Park Zoo


Rare corpse flowers bloom, drawing hundreds of people to the Como Park Zoo

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ST. PAUL, Minn. — There were lines out the door Thursday as people waited two hours at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, and it wasn’t for a new baby animal.

“I’ve never seen it like that, especially for a plant,” said horticulturist Jen Love of Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.

The rare bloom and fragrance that make Horace the corpse flower worthy of its name.

The distinctive scent comes from the flower’s bloom, which occurs only once every seven to ten years. The worst smell started on Thursday, when the start of the bloom was captured on Como’s web stream.

The exact scent is a bit nuanced, Love said, with each visitor picking up different scent notes.

“Right by the flower it was hot trash,” said Sarah Cooper of Minneapolis.

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“It smells kind of sweet, but still bad,” said Bren Bohlman of Lakeville.

“Dirty socks or also some kind of smelly cheese,” Love said.

“Usually my cat smells better,” Bohlman said.

The “PU” serves a purpose: to attract pollinators such as carrion beetles and flies.

It’s all relatively short-lived. Flowering only lasts about 12 hours.

Horace could begin to close Friday morning, while the bloom will likely end completely by Saturday, Love said.

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