this morning, my friend and i heard about the infamous corpse flower at brooklyn botanical garden on ny1. evidently, it gives off a putrid odor of rotting flesh -- hence the name. there was a video camera in the greenhouse to capture the flower moment-by-moment -- and with good reason. unbelievably, it was growing at the rate of six inches a day and could reach upwards of 8 or 9 feet. it would stop blooming in two days or so. they had been cultivating this particular plant for ten years and everyone was so excited that it was finally in bloom.
it seemed such a rare moment -- to see a gigantic parasite plant from southeast asia that hadn't bloomed in new york city since 1937. experiencing this kind of thing is why i wanted to live in the city in the first place. impulsively, i suggested that we go and see it for ourselves. the next thing i knew, we were there and i was face to face with this huge flower. it was massive and breathtakingly beautiful. and yes, there was a slight funky smell in the room. like someone hadn't taken out the garbage yet.
back in the day, governesses wouldn't allow young women to "look upon it" because it resembled a huge sword of a penis with a red upturned collar -- which is what the end of its latin name means, anyway.
everyone was sort of transfixed by it. there it was at the far end of a warm and sunny greenhouse, roped off in a big clay pot, stretching its way toward the ceiling, with cameras capturing every nanosecond of growth so everyone in cyberspace could be there, too. the thing that had me mesmerized was the fact that i was seeing something truly extrordinary, something that i probably would never have known -- unless i was wandering through the jungle in malaysia.