Hundreds line up to catch whiff of rare blooming ‘corpse flower’
ALAMEDA, Calif. [AP] – Residents of a San Francisco Bay Area city gathered around an abandoned art deco gas station to catch a whiff of a corpse flower — aptly named for the stench it emits upon blooming.
It’s owner, Solom Leyva, who owns a nursery in Alameda and deals in rare plants, decided to share the flower with his neighbors. He began seeing a lot of interest when he started posting on social media about his amorphophallus titanum. He decided to wheel is out on Monday, where subsequently, a line stretched down the block for most of the day.
“I grabbed my wagon, went down to my greenhouse, put it in with the help of a friend of mine, dragged it down here to this abandoned building and people just started showing up,” Leyva said.
Leyva parked himself in a camping chair near the plant and answered people’s questions about the rare flower. He estimated that by 4 p.m., at least 1,200 residents had visited the flower.
“Everyone is commenting to me that the last time they’ve seen this was in San Francisco, and there was a barrier, and they had to wait for hours, and they weren’t allowed to get near it,” Leyva said. “I think everyone’s tripping out that they can walk up and wiggle it and smell it.”
Himanshu and Sayali Jain brought their 3-year-old son after following the flower on social media, The Associated Press reported.
“I just wanted to thank him, because I thought we’d never get to see it,” Sayali Jain said.
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