Thursday, August 22, 2013

Romero, Romero...

We ventured into Pittsburgh to take part in an event that happens once in a blue moon!  (Coincidentally, there actually was a blue moon in the sky!)  At the Phipps Conservatory, their rare and unusual corpse flower was blooming.  They call the flower, Romeo.  The giant blossom was named after George A. Romero, the director of the cult horror classic: Night of the Living Dead.  (Did you know that the movie was shot not far from Pittsburgh in Evans City?  Another fun factoid is that George A. Romero also worked on Mister Roger's Neighborhood!)

What makes this such a special event is that generally the flower blooms once every ten years and when it does bloom, it only lasts for 48 hours.  It's probably a good thing that it doesn't bloom year round... at the height of its blooming cycle, the flower emits a smell that is very close to rotting flesh.  The stench helps attract pollinators (like flies and carrion beetles).

Due to the short timeframe Romero has to bloom, Phipps stayed open late... like 2AM kind of late!  Hundreds... if not thousands... of people stood in line to see (and smell) this rockstar of the botanical world.  Just like a rockstar, people wanted to take pictures with him and had their phones out uploading pictures to their favorite social media sites.

Here is a picture of Romero in all his glory.  I love the deep red color and adore the ruffled edge of the bloom.  To find out more about corpse flowers, CLICK HERE.  It was a really nice evening and we had a lot of fun wandering around the conservatory and of course seeing Romero in bloom.  It's a very rare opportunity.

And... just like a rock concert, we got home just before sunrise!


Anonymous said...

Wow! That is quite a flower - botanical rock star, indeed!

Unknown said...

Oh that's pretty Awesome Andrew!! I guess the smell was pretty bad? Eeeps.

Andrew Thornton said...

By the time that we saw it, the smell wasn't too bad. Whatever they were holding out in the cup that was what it was supposed to smell like the day before... now that was bad. Ugh.

I kept thinking of how cool it would be if the flower ruffle was somehow incorporated into a fantastical faerie costume or something. That'd be pretty cool!