‘Corpse Flower’ blooms with record admirers

Trudy the Titan Arum bloomed today at the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley, garden officials said.

Trudy is a tropical plant and “one of the world’s largest and rarest flowering structures,” according to the garden’s website. It’s also known as the Corpse Flower.

Trudy opened a little Saturday evening at about 6 p.m. and was flowering more at about 9 p.m. when garden officials left for the day, associate director for visitors services Jonathan Goodrich said.

By the end of today it will have run its course.

“It’s a very quick event,” Goodrich said.

Titan Arums are also known for their distinct odor as well as their size. Goodrich said the odor is strongest when the plant first opens:

“Like mega dirty socks wrapped around a rotting steak.”

The odor was fading and could be smelled only near the plant as of about 3:45 p.m. today, he said.

Goodrich said the garden has had its busiest day today in 12 years, with easily more than 1,000 visitors. Many have gone to see Trudy.

About 200 people visit the garden on a typical Sunday, Goodrich said.

The garden is open until 7 p.m. tonight, with the last entry at 6:30 p.m. But Goodrich said there is little parking in the area.

Visitors today have filled up the garden’s parking lot and the lot of the nearby Lawrence Hall of Science, he said.

Titan Arums bloom on average about every six to seven years, Goodrich said. The botanical garden has eight under propagation, but he couldn’t say when the next one would open.