BLACKSBURG, Va. – The corpse flower could bloom again soon, according to Jeff Burr, greenhouse manager in the School of Plant and Environment Sciences at Virginia Tech.
They’ve nicknamed the flower “Stinky Phil” and it has a very putrid odor.
On April 22, Burr noticed the plant emerging from the soil. Under typical weather conditions, Stinky Phil would already have bloomed, but extended cold and rain in May elongated the cycle.
Once the plant started growing, it grew quickly at a rate of about 3 inches each day.
“The excitement and buzz surrounding a bloom are immense,” Burr said. “Not all blooms are equal – some smell a lot stronger than others. In 2015, you had to get right up to it and take a whiff, but once you did, it gagged you. I’m looking forward to seeing – and smelling – this bloom.”
When it last bloomed five years ago, nearly 1,000 people stuck their nose in Phil to get a whiff of his nastiness.
They plan to livestream when it gets close to the blooming phase here.
Stinky Phil has been at Virginia Tech since the late 1990s, and this will be his fifth bloom since arriving in Blacksburg.