Photography lesson

SA Zoo learns life lesson from ‘failed’ flowering of Corpse Flower

On Monday, the San Antonio Zoo posted an update on its Facebook page about La Llorona, a corpse flower kept on zoo grounds. Although the bloom was not “fully successful”, the zoo seems to have learned a “life lesson” from the event.

In recent days, the zoo has released information about the plant emitting odors, signs potentially “indicating imminent or partial flowering”. However, Monday’s post said the organization ‘observed spadix subsidence’, noting that ‘the flowers were not fully successful in blooming’, although the zoo noted that the plant remained alive and could “bloom again over the next decade” and continue. be displayed for the next few days, with the live stream remaining active during this time.

On July 17, the zoo released an update on the corpse flower, stating that La Llorona “was giving off a ‘wet litter’ aroma” along with a list of recent height measurements showing the flower’s growth from 38 inches on July 7 and a final measurement of 51 inches on July 17, the same height listed on July 15 and 16.

“We’re almost there! Come visit us and let us know what you think she smells like,” the post read.

The corpse flower’s natural life cycle also involves the process of decay, the July 18 post states. The organization said it would take this opportunity to “educate our guests to understand and appreciate the whole process,” adding that the San Antonio Zoo remains “committed to helping save this plant species from extinction. and to develop this conservation program in the years to come” with additional plants.

While a KSAT report described the latest update as a “failed” bloom, the zoo appears to be learning life lessons from the incident.

“Although we noticed the flaccid spadix of the plant today before full bloom, we remain encouraged by our corpse flower conservation program, which began just months ago at the San Antonio Zoo,” said Tim Morrow, president and CEO of the San Antonio Zoo. in the post. “Beyond a life cycle lesson, this experience can also serve as a general life lesson. Even if you don’t succeed on your first attempt, that doesn’t mean you’re a failure – you can still thrive in the future!”

While the corpse flower is endemic to the steep rainforest hills in West Sumatra, the plant is grown in botanical gardens around the world, according to an Encyclopedia Britannica entry on the subject. The “unusual short-lived flower structure is the largest unbranched inflorescence of any plant and smells like rotting flesh,” the entry says, with about four to 10 years or more between blooms.

“A titan arum is often a major tourist attraction when in bloom,” the post continues.

The spadix can reach a height of up to 9.8 feet, according to the post, explaining that “the inflorescence develops over several months”, with a maximum growth rate of up to six inches per day and flowering of 24 to 48 hours.

The maximum growth rate shown on the July 17 Facebook post shows La Llorona grew 3.5 inches between July 7 and July 8 and an additional three inches between July 9 and July 10.

The San Antonio Zoo’s La Llorona livestream is still available online as of Tuesday morning.