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SF’s Rare Stinky “Corpse Flower” is About to Bloom

The “big bloom” of this rotting flesh stinky spectacular is coming (probably) this weekend. Now free to smell for SF residents at the Conservatory of Flowers
By - posted 6/16/2022 No Comment

The Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park has announced that one their super smelly “corpse flowers” is just about ready to bloom. And that means it’s going to start smelling like rotting flesh. Nice!

UPDATE! The Bloom (and stink) has started! The Conservatory is opening late on Friday, June 17th with extended hours from 4-9pm – please note during extended hours that admission is $13 for everyone, including SF residents. Otherwise come to the Conservatory on Saturday, June 18th from 10a to 4p for free admission for SF residents and $13 admission for non-residents. Currently there are no plans for evening hours on Saturday. See full details.

According to an Instagram post on June 15th, the Conservatory of Flowers says that they expect the bloom to take place in the next “2-6 days” so that means sometime between Friday (June 17th and Tuesday (June 21st). But of course, nature does whatever she very well pleases! You can currently see Chanel on display in the Conservatory’s West Gallery.

And when the bloom happens, the Conservatory will stay open late past its normal 4:30p closing time so more people can visit, according to the San Francisco Chronicle

Visit the Conservatory of Flowers at 100 JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park, open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 4:30pm. Tickets are free for San Francisco residents with ID (brand new for 2022!), while tickets for non-residents are $13 for adults and $7 for kids, students and seniors. Please note that special nighttime hours might also cost $13 for San Francisco residents if the Conservatory opens late.

Come see “Chanel the Titan” (yes, the Conservatory has named the flowers!). The flowers usually take 7-10 years to bloom for the first time, and then can re-bloom every 3-5 years thereafter. The last blooms of a corpse flower at the Conservatory in 2017 and then again in 2020. The smelly bloom only lasts a day or two.

Why does the bloom stink?
The scent is a deception device that tricks pollinators into thinking the plant is rotting organic matter. These pollinators – carrion beetles and flies – lay eggs on decaying animals so their larva can feast when they hatch. The bloom heats up on the first evening to further disperse the odor.

In the meantime, The Conservatory of Flowers has many other smaller stinky flowers if you just neeeed to get a whiff with three smelly orchids in their Highland Tropics gallery.