We’re gonna need a bigger watering can!

As a rare flower begins to bloom at Denver’s Botanic Gardens, we think about the role Denver Water played in helping it along.

August 31, 2018 | By: Steve Snyder
The large and exceptionally smelly Amorphophallus titanum or corpse flower is almost ready to bloom. (Courtesy: Denver Botanic Gardens)
The large and exceptionally smelly Amorphophallus titanum or corpse flower before blooming. (Courtesy Denver Botanic Gardens)

Same song, second verse. Is it possible the smell can be any worse?

Stinky, a five-foot tall corpse flower (technically know as Amorphophallus titanum), is blooming again at the Denver Botanic Gardens. It previously bloomed for the first time three years ago, spreading its unique odor in the process. Those who’ve witnessed a bloom say it smells like a rotting corpse — hence the flower’s name.

But despite being aromatically challenged, we still feel a connection to this unique flower. The Botanic Gardens is a Denver Water customer, so it was our product that helped this unique flower grow to the size it is today.

How much water did Stinky require? Not as much as you might think. While they don’t have exact numbers, the horticulturists at the Botanic Gardens tell us that when the flower is actively growing, it is watered by hand once or twice a week. They also sometimes spray the greenhouse floor and plant foliage to increase humidity. Normally, the plant actively grows for only a year and then goes dormant for four to six months. When dormant, it receives no water at all.

The horticulturalists also tell us they rotate between using water straight from the tap and using filtered water from a reverse osmosis process. By using the RO water, minerals from the tap water and the fertilizer the Botanic Gardens provide do not build up and damage the plant’s roots.

You can watch the latest developments with the flower odor-free on the the Botanic Gardens’ “stinky cam” to see what the flower looks like now that it’s blooming.  Or you can get the full effect and go see it in person. But we will not accept responsibility if your eyes water from the smell, a noted side effect from this most odorous oddity.

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