Endangered corpse flower plant to bloom for first time at Toronto Zoo

A corpse flower is seen in this undated handout photo. A plant that usually first blooms after 10 years is set to flower this week at the Toronto Zoom, about four years ahead of schedule. The zoo says the corpse flower will bloom for just eight to thirty six hours sometime this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Toronto Zoo

TORONTO — A plant that can take about a decade to produce a flower that emits a putrid scent is set to bloom this week at the Toronto Zoo — years ahead of schedule.

The zoo says the corpse flower will bloom for just eight to thirty six hours sometime this week.

The facility’s curatorial gardener, Paul Gellatly, says the plant typically flowers every seven to 10 years, but the one at the zoo is just five years old.

The plant is native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra and smells like rotting meat while blooming, which attracts carrion flies and beetles for pollination.

Gellatly says the flower is endangered in Indonesia and will become the first in the Toronto area to ever bloom.

The zoo will extend its hours to allow visitors to see the plant.

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