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A new corpse flower is about to bloom at the Muttart Conservatory

If you thought Putrella was the only foul flower in town, you’re in for a surprise — a different corpse flower is about to bloom at Edmonton’s Muttart Conservatory.

Putrella, the infamous stinky bloom, has a younger cousin that is about to make its debut. The Amorphophallus titanum is about eight years old, and it is nearly ready to be seen in full bloom.

Putrella, the infamous stinky Amorphophallus titanum, or “corpse flower,” has a younger cousin that is about to make its debut at Edmonton’s Muttart Conservatory. Credit: City of Edmonton

The flower can grow up to 12 feet tall, but this one is less than half that height.

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“Our early estimates were that it will be smaller than Putrella, but still anywhere between five and seven feet [tall]. The plant is currently five feet, four inches tall,” a post on the Muttart Conservatory’s Facebook page said.

READ MORE: Corpse flower blooms at Muttart Conservatory (and stinks it up)

The Amorphophallus titanum, found in the wild in Sumatra, Indonesia, is both beautiful and nasty. When in bloom, its large purple flower emits an odour like rotting meat, which attracts pollinators such as carrion beetles.

Due to its enormous size, a massive amount of time and energy is needed for a corpse flower to bloom, the city’s website said. Because of this, it goes through years of growth and dormancy stages.

When the plant has finally stored enough energy, it sends out a bud. It will grow six inches per day during its peak growth period, then the growth slows to half an inch to an inch per day before stopping completely.

Within approximately six weeks, the bud has turned into an enormous bloom that will last for only 24 to 48 hours.

Putrella the corpse flower at the Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton. Tuesday, April 7, 2015.
Putrella the corpse flower at the Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton. Tuesday, April 7, 2015. Cliff Harris, Global News

Putrella became the first corpse flower to bloom in western Canada in April of 2013. The event generated much hype and excitement, and a record 8,800 people visited over the course of the week. The Muttart extended its hours then as well, to allow as many people as possible to experience the bloom.

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Putrella bloomed again in 2015 and 2017.

READ MORE: Putrella the corpse flower in bloom again at the Muttart Conservatory

The yet-unnamed cousin will bloom sometime this week, but the city said it’s hard to predict exactly when. When it does, the news will be posted on the Muttart Conservatory’s Facebook page.

— With files from Julia Wong, Global News

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