Any minute now, a giant storehouse of stink will be unleashed on botany lovers, as the countdown continues for the opening of the University of Minnesota’s corpse flower.
The 6-foot-tall flower, which emits a scent akin to rotting meat, has given signs that its first opening in seven years is imminent. On Thursday, the corpse flower shed an outer layer called a “skirt.” When that happens, the flower usually opens within 24 to 48 hours, said Ric Roderick, a conservator at the College of Biological Sciences Conservatory.
Flower lovers can watch a live feed of the flower or stop by the conservatory. The conservatory extended its hours until 9 p.m. Friday night to give more visitors a peek at the flower.
The first signs of opening will appear at the top of the flower. When the top begins to open, the rest of the flower will follow gradually over several hours, Roderick said.
In its native jungle habitat, the corpse flower uses its odor to cut through the many scents competing for the pollinating attention of the sweat bee. The bees can smell the plant from miles away.
To mark the unusual event, the conservatory will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at 1534 Lindig St. on the university’s St. Paul campus.