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SF’s Rare Stinky “Corpse Flower” Nighttime Bloom (Conservatory of Flowers)

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


UPDATE – As of July 4, 2023 (1:06pm)

We’re open regular hours today and it’s our monthly free day, last entry 4pm. Donations to support the Conservatory are greatly appreciated!
We will open AGAIN TONIGHT for another special after-hours program for more people to enjoy Scarlet in bloom! 5-9:30pm, last entry 9pm! Tickets only available at the door. Tickets are free for Gardens of Golden Gate Park members and $20 per person otherwise. Stench may be minimal to no longer present by this evening but Scarlet will still be looking more or less like this photo from this morning. Come on out!
Although Wednesdays are now our regular weekly maintenance closure day, since Scarlet is here the Conservatory will be open tomorrow 12-4pm for continued enjoyment.

UPDATE – As of July 3, 2023 (5:16pm) IT’S HAPPENING! Scarlet the Corpse Flower started blooming and will be in peak bloom tonight (July 3rd). Visit Conservatory from 5:00-9:30pm (last entry 9pm) to meet Scarlet the Corpse Flower in a special ticketed after-hours program. Tickets must be purchased on site.

The bloom will only last approximately 48 hours (and the smell for even less time – the peak smell is expected around 2am in the early morning of July 4, 2023. It should still be stinky on July 4th, but less so), so don’t wait to see it! 

Admission is free during the day (for SF Residents) until 4:30pm but tickets for the special after-hours Corpse Flower program is $20 and will be sold onsite only.

UPDATE – As of July 3, 2023 (11:44am) there have been no updates as of this morning, but we’ll keep checking.

UPDATE – As of July 1, 2023 (11:38am) there have been no updates as of this morning, but since sometimes updates come very quickly we will keep checking throughout the day.

UPDATE As of June 28, 2023 – “We are starting to see a blush of color on the spathe. This indicates we are ~3-5 days from bloom. At this point we need to monitor closely on a daily basis”

UPDATE – As of June 27, 2023 – According to an Instagram Story on June 27, 2023, the Conservatory of Flowers says that they expect the bloom to take place “by the end of this week” so that means hopefully sometime between Saturday and Monday (July 1-3). But of course, nature does whatever she very well pleases!

For anyone who can’t see it in person, you can WATCH THE LIVESTREAM HERE.

Scarlet is located in the West Gallery. Visit the Conservatory of Flowers at 100 JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park, open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 4:30pm. Tickets during normal hours are free for San Francisco residents with ID, while tickets for non-residents are $13 for adults and $7 for kids, students and seniors.

Special After-Hours Corpse Flower Program (Starting July 3, 2023, last entry at 9:00 pm)

When the bloom happens, the Conservatory typically stays open late past its normal 4:30p closing time so more people can visit. Please note that special nighttime admission costs $20 (even for San Francisco residents – there will be no free admission for evening admission) – For evening admission, tickets are only available for purchase at the door. No advanced online sales.

Join us for a special after-hours program to see, smell and learn about Scarlet the Corpse Flower! The infamously pungent, towering Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanum) is now blooming at the Conservatory. Meet one of our botanical experts who can answer questions and share fascinating facts about this rare bloom. The bloom will only last approximately 48 hours, so don’t wait to see it! Enjoy all five Conservatory galleries, included in admission, filled with thousands of tropical plants. Special programs require a ticket for all to attend.

Tickets for the special after-hours Corpse Flower program will be sold onsite only.

Gardens of Golden Gate Park Members FREE
General Admission – even SF residents $20
Children (4 & under) FREE


Daytime Admission (Regular Hours, 10 am to 4:30 pm – last entry at 4:00 pm)

Gardens of Golden Gate Park Members FREE
Adults (weekdays) $13
Adults (weekends) $15
Youth (ages 12-17) $7
Seniors (ages 65+) $7
Children (ages 5-11) $4
Children (4 & under) FREE


San Francisco Residents, Veterans, and Gardens of Golden Gate Park Members (With ID):

Adults  FREE
Youth (ages 12-17) FREE
Seniors (ages 65+) FREE
Children (ages 5-11) FREE
Children (4 & under) FREE


About Scarlett and the Corpse Flower

  • Corpse Flowers only bloom every 3-5 years when they’ve stored up enough energy.
  • Scarlet last bloomed in 2019. See photos from 2019
  • The smelly bloom only lasts a day or two.
  • This native to Sumatra, Indonesia is one of the world’s largest and most pungent blooms
  • The strong odor mimics rotting organic matter to trick pollinators into visiting
  • Follow @conservatoryofflowers for bloom updates and special evening visiting hours
  • As of June 28, 2023 there’s a blush of color on the folded skirt (spathe) with more red expected to build over the next few days
  • The corpse flower usually begins blooming in the late afternoon and optimal viewing times are in the evening

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

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