See Fester, the corpse flower, unfurl in time-lapse video

Fester corpse flower Buffalo Erie County Botanical Gardens
Fester was ready to unfurl in this June 26 photo. What you see is just the flower; there is no stem or trunk or leaf. Photo courtesy Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

by Connie Oswald Stofko

It was a great year for corpse flowers at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. Not one, but two of these plants bloomed in June. That’s amazing because the corpse flower or Amorphophallus titanum blooms just once in six to ten years!

Morty bloomed in early June, which was just four years after it first bloomed in Buffalo.

Fester, which started out as the smallest of the three corpse flower corms (bulbs) that the Botanical Gardens acquired in 2014, bloomed just a few weeks later.

Fester attained a height of more than 5 1/2 feet, surpassing Morty’s height this year of 4 1/2 feet. However, in 2014, Morty achieved a towering height of 7 1/2 feet.

Morty didn’t unfurl this year the way he did in 2014, but Fester did! Check out the time-lapse video below.

If you are fascinated by unusual plants like Morty and Fester, consider contributing to the Botanical Gardens’ Strange Likes Company campaign. A couple of the plants they hope to add to their collection are the monkey face orchid, whose bloom actually looks like the face of a monkey, and Nepenthes rajah, a carnivorous plant that has been known to digest small animals. See photos here. 

If you want to help in a broader way, consider an unrestricted gift. These donations are used for a wide variety of purposes: to maintain the facilities and operations, support educational programming, and to provide restoration and preservation of the horticulture collection. You can donate online.

Other ways to give include through tributes and dedications, through planned giving or by joining a giving society.

For more information, contact Brittany Finnegan-Zandi, director of Development, at or 827-1584, ext. 203.

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