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Foul, fetid and for a limited time: Vancouver’s corpse flower blooms

Click to play video: 'Vancouver’s famous ‘Uncle Fester’ corpse flower once again set to bloom' Vancouver’s famous ‘Uncle Fester’ corpse flower once again set to bloom
The rare corpse flower at Vancouver’s Bloedel Conservatory is once again set to bloom. The tropical plant nicknamed Uncle Fester emits a powerful stench - similar to rotten meat - when fully open. Large crowds converged on the conservatory in 2018 when conditions were optimal for the last bloom – Aug 4, 2021

If you’ve ever wanted to catch the sight and scent of Vancouver’s stinkiest attraction, now is your chance — but you’ll have hurry.

The city’s only corpse flower, known affectionately has Uncle Fester, has bloomed at the Bloedel Conservatory, though the rare event will only last a day or two.

Read more: Pee-yew: Vancouver’s big, stinky corpse flower set to bloom again

Corspe flowers (Amorphophallus titanum) are known for their massive size and their unmistakable odour, likened to that of rotting meat, hot garbage or even diapers.

The plants can grow as high as 12 feet tall, and use their stench to attract carrion insects who serve as pollinators.

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Because of the energy needed to fuel their massive growth, the plants can take up to 10 years to bloom in the wild — though can flower every two to three years in controlled environments, according to the Vancouver Park Board.

Uncle Fester — which is currently about six feet tall — first bloomed in 2018, drawing huge lineups of curious onlookers.

“It is such an incredible opportunity to grow our very own titan arum in Vancouver,” Bloedel Conservatory curator of collections Cynthia Sayre said in a media release.

Read more: What’s six-feet tall and smells like rotting meat? Vancouver ‘corpse flower’ is no joke

“We are thrilled to see Uncle Fester bloom and be able to share this once-in-a-lifetime experience with the world, to raise awareness about the importance of plant biodiversity and help global efforts to conserve this unique and endangered species.”

The park board is keeping the conservatory open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. through for visitors who want to see Uncle Fester, though you’ll need to book in advance to see it in order to adhere to COVID-19 safety plans.

Corpse flowers are native to Indonesia’s Sumatra rainforests and are classified as “vulnerable” according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

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