If you have an appointment to see the rare-blooming, nasty-smelling corpse plant at N.C. State University on Thursday, prepare to be in for a slight disappointment.
Although it was expected to bloom Wednesday night and be on display Thursday, the plant hasn’t started its pungent show yet. Those who had signed up to see and smell it today didn’t get the full experience.
The plant’s owner, Brandon Huber, now thinks the flower is very likely to open sometime Thursday night. Friday visitors could be greeted by the telltale stench of a corpse flower looking for love.
The plant last opened in 2016.
The plant’s long, lime green-colored flowering spike, called a spadix, is standing tall. And it’s still an impressive sight. But the huge spathe — a frilly, leaflike covering — remains wrapped tightly around the bottom half of the spadix.
And, for better or worse, there’s no smell. Until the flower is ready to “bloom,” and that frilly skirt drops, the corpse plant smells just like a regular plant, with no sign of the roadkill odor that accompanies a corpse plant flower trying to lure in carrion beetles and flies to pollinate it.
Huber said the plant, named Lupin, had sent out some mixed signals.
“They typically open up when the growth stops and the flower darkens up,” explained Huber.
Lupin’s flower had definitely darkened, making Huber think the frilly covering was about to open Wednesday night.
All the Friday and weekend appointments to see the corpse flower have been taken.
Check out the live feed from NC State to keep updated on the flower’s progress.