Crowds flock to Alameda street corner for rare corpse flower

ByAndrew Morris KGO logo
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
Crowds flock to Alameda street corner for corpse flower
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The corpse flower stands several feet tall and its bloom is a rare event. The bloom lasts for about a day, and gives off a rotting scent, which is where the flower gets its name.

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) -- At times, the line of mystified strangers stretched half an Alameda block to get just a brief glimpse at a sight that generally only happens once every several years.

A rare corpse flower has made its appearance at the corner of Santa Clara Ave. and Oak St. It's owned by a local gardener, Solomon Leyva, who wanted to share it with the community.

"It produces a tree-like looking plant with a really wide canopy," said Leyva. "It produces it over and over every year until the bulb has sort of enough energy for it to bloom. This can take 10 years, this can take 15, this can take 20."

The corpse flower stands several feet tall, getting its name from its notorious rotting scent. The bloom, which typically requires seven to 10 years of growth to happen, only occurs for about a day before it dies. The bulb then rests several months before the growing process begins again.