Huge pungent flowers set to bloom at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota

Selby Gardens expects two stinky corpse plants to bloom at the same time

June 16, 2014 

SARASOTA -- Not too many visitors to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens that smell as bad as Audrey and Seymour would be so welcome.

Audrey and Seymour -- named after characters in "Little Shop of Horrors" -- are a couple of "corpse plants." The plants have massive blooms that smell like rotting flesh.

They're expected to bloom this month, and to bloom at the same time. The last time two corpse plants bloomed together at Selby Gardens was in 1999. That time, the largest plant reached a height of nearly five feet. The full bloom lasts only a few days.

The corpse plant, or Amorphophallus titanium, is native to Sumatra. It's listed as a threatened species and it rarely blooms in captivity.

Some visitors may find the plant's appearance as distasteful as its odor: the name "Amorphophallus" is derived from the Greek for "giant misshapen penis."

Selby Gardens is at 900 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. It's open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Information: 941-366-5731 or The Selby Gardens Facebook page will have update on the progress of the blooms.

-- Marty Clear

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