What’s on Your Botanical Bucket List?

 What’s on Your Botanical Bucket List?

From rare orchids to grizzled desert plants, experts weigh in on which flora they most want to see before they die

Corpse flower

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.