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Corpse Flower at Nashville Zoo is about to Bloom

Nashville ZooNashville, TN – Something stinky is about to bloom at Nashville Zoo and, if they hurry, a few lucky guests will have a chance to see and smell this rare occurrence.

Inside the Zoo’s Aviary located in the Unseen New World, Amorphophallus titanum, more commonly known as a corpse flower is about to bloom.

The corpse flower is considered to be one of the largest flowers in the world growing to more than ten feet in height. The seasonal plant consists of a single leaf that grows to the size of a small tree.

Corpse Flower at Nashville Zoo
Corpse Flower at Nashville Zoo

Each year the plant dies and regrows again from a giant corm (tuber). After several years of seasonal growth, the plant goes dormant, and soon after sprouts the flower.

When the flower blooms, it emits an odor that is similar to rotting flesh giving it its common name. The bloom is a rarity taking place once every eight to ten years and only lasting a couple of days.

When it blooms, Nashville Zoo plans to open the aviary to allow guests to see and smell the flower until it wilts. Anyone interested in seeing the flower’s growth can also watch on a web camera overlooking the flower.

After making the difficult decision to close their greenhouses, the corpse flower along with numerous other plants were donated to the Zoo by Vanderbilt University. Jonathan Ertelt, the greenhouse manager, started the plant from seed in 2012 and watched it grow for eight years with no bloom.

In December, colleagues from the Zoo went to Vanderbilt and brought the plant to the Zoo where it went dormant in late winter. It started to break dormancy in late summer, coming into bloom in early October.

About the Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo is a nonprofit organization and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, assuring the highest standards of animal care and husbandry. The Zoo is actively engaged in conservation research, habitat protection, breeding programs, and education initiatives around the globe as well as in our own backyard.

The Zoo attracts more than 1,260,000 visitors annually and is considered one of the top attractions in Nashville. Nashville Zoo is located at 3777 Nolensville Pike.

For more information about Nashville Zoo, visit www.nashvillezoo.org

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