Shangri La to show corpse flower in bloom

The entire phase from this image until fully opened takes about 7 hours.

Shangri La has announced the blooming of a rare and spectacular plant, the corpse flower (Amorphophallus Titanum), which has been lovingly named Lenore.

This plant hails from the Indonesian island of Sumatra and has not only one of the largest blooms in the world, but also a bloom with a pungent odor that mimics the stench of rotting meat in order to attract flies and beetles as pollinators. As of June 20, the bud was 51 inches tall and could possibly reach 6-8 feet in height.

The bloom began opening Saturday, June 22, at 8:50 p.m., and will only last 24-48 hours before it wilts, according to Shangri La's Director of Horticulture, Joseph Johnson. What makes this bloom such a unique event is that a corpse flower in cultivation such as Lenore will typically will not bloom again for 6-10 years.

In celebration of this one-of-a-kind event, Shangri La will have special, expanded hours of operation for members and other visitors to view this wonder of nature. Lenore the Corpse Flower is currently on display in Shangri La's Exhibition Greenhouse and visitors of all ages can enjoy stopping by Shangri La on Monday, June 24, 2013, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., a day when Shangri La is typically closed. Regardless of attendance date, entry during Lenore's blooming phases will include a self-guided tour of the garden pathways before or after viewing the flower.

Members of Stark Cultural Venues are invited to attend an exclusive member-only evening event to see Lenore, enjoy light refreshments and hear a reading of Edgar Allen Poe's poem "Lenore," which will take place Monday, June 24, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Attendees of the event will receive a complimentary, commemorative button to mark this special happening, and one lucky member will receive a promotional Lenore poster signed by cast members of "The Addams Family" performance that was recently on-stage at Lutcher Theater. An entry ticket is not required for members to attend the exclusive, member-only event, which is a complimentary benefit of membership. Members are encouraged to see the flower as often as possible to track its growth and progress of the bloom.

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