Thursday, August 18, 2005
This is the bloom of a cactus plant, do you know the name?
[see comments: Hairy Giant Starfish Flower, a carrion flower]
It blooms at night, stays open for about 1 day then wilts.
During that time it stinks - hints of low tide, spoiled seafood, dead fish, etc. Some fragrance!
I think I've heard of these in Death Valley, CA.
A backpacker said they awoke to find their desert world alive with beautiful blooms but it took a while for them to connect those flowers to the stinking smell they also awoke to, described as "dirty feet" or "hiking boots with a special Death Valley sauce", and "something very wrong that we must fix right away".
The blossom features tiny hairlike projections (not captured in the photo), very fine and beautiful. Nice pattern and the sort of plant you want to touch.
On the right are 3 pods that will bloom next, one at a time, at night, lasting for one day. Hold your nose! One bloom at a time sounds like Mother Nature doesn't want to stink you out, just wants to broadcast and protect the short lived blossom.
Nice cactus bloom visually and tactilely, but olfactorily it is a real piece of work. What a mechanism to pollinate and defend itself, it stinks!
If only it were that easy for me.
I can stink with the best of 'em.