The place is about to smell like La Llorona. Actually, the uncommon corpse flower at the San Antonio Zoo, which has been given the Mexican folk tale as its official name, is getting closer to blooming.
There are perhaps 1,000 corpse flowers left in the wild today, each with a distinct decaying scent.
The facility’s “Back from the Brink” whooping crane habitat is located close to the display of the unusually odorous plant, which has been available for public observation since July 8. Within the following five days or so, according to experts monitoring the condition, “La Llorona” should bloom to its full splendor. When it happens, San Antonio will see its first blossom.
The corpse flower at the zoo was measured for the last time yesterday morning and was found to be 50 inches tall. It was measured at 48.75 inches on Tuesday. It was just 48 inches tall on Monday, which is really small.
The Titan Arum was formerly called “corpse flower” because of the distinct smell it released during its brief blooming period. The first night it blossoms, the scent is the strongest, and the uninitiated would likely mistake it for the smell of a nearby decomposing corpse. More than 30 different compounds interact to create this aroma, which draws pollinators that enjoy death, such flesh flies and carrion beetles.
San Antonio’s native corpse flower was originally a gift from The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in California to the Zoo’s Center for Conservation & Research. The Zoo intends to gather pollen and tissue samples for genetic analysis because the population is dwindling.
A suitable namesake is La Llorona, a figure connected with death and a spiteful spirit who is thought to weep near bodies of water while grieving the children she drowned.
You may view a live stream of the plant here to follow her progress.
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