Rare corpse flower blooming at Missouri Botanical Garden

The Garden opened for evening viewings of the flower Tuesday night starting at 7 p.m. but after overwhelming demand, no one arriving after 10 p.m. would be allowed.

ST. LOUIS — A rare occurrence is happening now at the Missouri Botanical Garden, and you can see and smell it.

Luna, a 31-pound corpse flower, is blooming Tuesday night six years after arriving at MoBOT as a seedling. During the process, the plant will emit a foul odor from a tall spike of flowers, which often lasts just one day.

A press release from the Missouri Botanical Garden said the corpse flower usually opens quickly in the late afternoon, and the peak bloom usually comes after dark.

The Missouri Botanical Garden said it would the process started Tuesday evening and will continue through the night. The Garden said it would open for evening viewings of the flower Tuesday night starting at 7 p.m. with last entry at midnight, but due to overwhelming demand, no visitors who arrived after 10 p.m. would be allowed inside. Admission was free.

The Climatron will be reopening at 7 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. Admission is $6 for St. Louis or St. Louis County residents and $14 for non-residents.

You can also watch the bloom on the Missouri Botanical Garden YouTube channel.

Luna’s bloom is the 12th corpse flower bloom that has occurred at the Missouri Botanical Garden since 2012. The most recent bloom was in 2021, when a flower named Octavia bloomed.

Corpse flowers can take five to 10 years to grow until it is ready for their first bloom. Corpse flowers bloom every one to two years after the first bloom. 

Octavia first bloomed in July 2017 and attempted again in July 2019, when it grew to a record 93 inches, but failed to bloom. In 2021, Octavia measured at 87 inches.

For more information about hours, events and tickets, visit the Missouri Botanical Garden website.

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