Tulsa Zoo Home to Very Own Corpse Flower - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Tulsa Zoo Home to Very Own Corpse Flower

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Comparison: Corpse Flower in D.C. Comparison: Corpse Flower in D.C.

With all the buzz in our nation's capitol about the Corpse Flower, most area residents may be surprised the Tulsa Zoo has one of their very own.

Reported to be one of the biggest blooms on a flowering plant on Earth, the Corpse Flower is somewhat of an oddity for those who get the opportunity to experience it. But the impressive plant also brings with it a foul smell likened to that of a decomposing animal.

Tulsa's Channel 8's sister station, WJLA in Washington D.C., was there to witness an almost 7-foot tall Corpse Flower bloom at the US Botanic Garden earlier this week. And when it did fully open, one official with the garden described the smell as "a deer hanging out dead in the Florida everglades for two or three days.”

   LIVESTREAM: Corpse Flower in Washington D.C.

KTUL photojournalist James Puckett went and spoke to the Tulsa Zoo, which houses its own Corpse Flower. A horticulturist with the zoo said that it takes seven to 10 years from the beginning to get it to flower.

"I approximate [ours] is probably seven years old now," horticulturist Jay Ross said.

Ross told KTUL that the smell the flower emits when it blooms is a mechanism used for reproduction and to attract pollinators. And while it's not really a rare plant, being native to Sumatra, it is unique and a sight to behold.

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