Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is anxiously awaiting the extremely rare blooming of its 16-year-old titan arum plant, which is one of the largest flowering plants in the world. The blooming, which lasts only about 24 hours, is expected to occur within the next seven days.
In full bloom, the titan arum will stand taller than most people, and it will emit an unforgettable odor that some have likened to rotting meat. Thus, its alternate name: Corpse Flower.
This rare blooming will be only the second in the Zoo's 128-year history. The first occurred in 2007 and distinguished the Zoo as one of just 20 institutions in North America to successfully bloom the titan arum. Those wishing to see - and smell - the magnificent plant may view it in the Zoo's RainForest during normal hours.
The Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus titanum) is native to the rainforests of Sumatra and rarely flowers in the wild. The few times it has bloomed in North American zoos and botanical gardens, it has attracted national media attention and thousands of visitors.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is home to 183 acres of award-winning gardens featuring tens of thousands of plants, flowers and trees maintained daily by a skilled team of horticulturists.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with hours extended to 7 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Admission is $10 per person ages 12 and older, $7 for kids ages 2 to 11 and free for children under 2 and Zoo members. Parking is free. Located at 3900 Wildlife Way, the Zoo is easily accessible from Interstates 71, 77, 90 and 480. To learn more, visit clemetzoo.com or call (216) 661-6500.