Uncle Fester, you beautiful beast.
The Bloedel Conservatory’s most famous (or perhaps infamous) plant is back in the spotlight after two years of dormancy.
This titan arum plant is also known as the corpse flower because of the pungent smell of rotting meat that it emits when its flower blooms—which happened for the first time in 2018 and the second time in 2021. Now, two years later, Uncle Fester (named thanks to a public city-wide poll) has decided it’s time to do something a little different.
The plant has started to grow a massive leaf, which has shot up to nearly a metre in height in the last month alone. In the coming weeks, Uncle Fester’s growth is predicted to reach up to eight centimetres a day. Good thing the domed ceiling of the Bloedel is so darn high.
For those wary of bad aromas, no need to fear: this big branched structure—which is actually made up of many small leaflets, and is grown to help the plant store energy in order to sprout a future flower—does not emit any scent. The rotting smell (a survival tactic to help the plant attract pollinators that feed on dead animals) comes when its flower blooms. As for when Uncle Fester will decide to produce one of those bad boys again, well, that is truly anybody’s guess.
The Bloedel Conservatory, located at Queen Elizabeth Park (and truly one of the most magical spots in the city), is open every day from 10am.