From rare orchids to grizzled desert plants, experts weigh in on which flora they most want to see before they die
A blooming Amorphophallus titanum corpse flower looms over visitors at the University of Basel botanical garden in November 2012. (PATRICK STRAUB/epa/Corbis)
By Samantha Drake – smithsonian.com
Before I die, I’m going to see a corpse flower in bloom.
The enormous, foul-smelling blooms of the Amorphophallus titanum belong to a rare plant native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The flowers appear approximately once or twice a decade and last only about two days, making an in-person visit a challenge. Only about 100 A. titanium plants grow in cultivation around the world, and a blooming corpse flower at a museum or garden makes headlines and draws long lines of visitors. Read more.