At the Bloedel Conservatory in Vancouver, they recently had a rare “corpse flower” blooming. It’s a huge flower that only blooms very rarely, so I can kind of understand the attraction of seeing something so rare and unusual.
However, what would put me off seeing this flower is that apparently it stinks. Like a corpse, or garbage, or dirty diapers. The Bloedel Conservatory was advertising the stink like it was a big part of the attraction.
People were lining up outside in the extreme heat for two or more hours to see this flower (and a lot of them seemed excited to smell it, too.)
Maybe I just like to avoid bad smells more than the average person (sensory issues?). I can understand wanting to see such a rare and impressive-looking flower. I’m interested in nature myself. But I don’t understand why people would wait in line for so long because they’re excited to smell a stench.
What about you? Would you wait in line for two hours to see/smell this rare, pungent flower?
Just for the record, on the smells, “Analyses of chemicals released by the spadix show the stench includes dimethyl trisulfide (like limburger cheese), dimethyl disulfide, trimethylamine (rotting fish), isovaleric acid (sweaty socks), benzyl alcohol (sweet floral scent), phenol (like Chloraseptic), and indole (like feces).”
I’m no botanist, so no I wouldn’t. I also have no patience for long lines. However, I would check out a rare and interesting thing if it was my jam, even if the general populous thought it was a ridiculous object.
We went to a similar dlowering here in Edinburgh. There was a long queue but I no longer remember how long it was; over an hour, I’m sure. But it was a nice day, in beautiful gardens and the time passed fairly easily.
We both thought it was worth the wait to see it.
Badly needed medical treatment for me or my family. Can’t think of anything else.
I won’t stand in lines for much of anything. Thursday I left my workplace early to get a jump on the fast food lines (10:30 am). When I got to the Chicken Express, there were 10 people ahead of me. I chose to skip lunch rather than stand in a line that long. For me, missing a meal is preferable to standing in a long line.
And yes, when the kids were little, Disney World (Etc.) was pure hell for me.
I wouldn’t wait that long, but most of these people on line for two hours would just be standing around staring at their cellphones anyway.
I prefer to grow my own stinky-flowered plants. I have a relative of the giant corpse flower (Amorphophallus konjac) growing in my garden. Every few years after a mild winter it sends up a flower with (to me) a moderate odor of decaying fish. And I can always grow succulents like Stapelia, which produces huge star-shaped flowers redolent of bad meat, which attract flies as pollinators.
The fascination with attractive and unusual blooms with bizarre smells is understandable.
As I mentioned in a thread about lines for tourist attractions, not everyone has a horrible aversion to lines. As long as I have a way of entertaining myself - an interesting companion, my Kindle, etc. - I don’t mind a line at all. Last week I waited over two hours in line at the DMV. Sure, it was a necessity, but even so, it wasn’t unpleasant. A sunny morning, a few interesting chats with people, a little light reading, and it was a fine way to pass a few hours on Saturday. Plus, I now have a Federally qualified ID good for the next five years.
I’m not sure I would wait in line to see a corpse flower, but I have no problem lining up for an exhibit I’d like to see. In this case, the smell is part of the attraction.
But that experience doesn’t include the smell, so what’s the point?
I’m just sad that I can’t grow them myself in my climate zone and have to settle for their smaller but equally stinky cousin. (I’m sitting on my porch about 3 feet from a container full of them in leaf stage as I type this.)