Monday, July 25, 2016

Visiting Seymour and Audrey in Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens has something special going on right now in their observatory, 2 flowering Voodoo lilies, yes, not 1 but 2! Go take a wiff if you dare!

Amorphophallus titanum

I kept an eye on the Garden's Facebook page for their announcement, and when the news came in this past Saturday that 'Seymour' is flowering, we jumped in the car and drove 2 1/2 hours to take advantage of their extended open hours for this special event.

This one is Audrey, (lovingly named after Seymour and Audrey from the Little Shop of Horrors) it will be blooming in a couple of days.

The flower are tall, over 6 feet I was told. The smell of decaying flesh was noticeable but I expected worse for the sized of the flower, maybe we missed the stinky early hours when the flower first opens up.

The plant mimics the color and smell of rotting meat to attract flies and beetles looking to lay their eggs into dead animals. The insects visiting will then unintentionally pollinate the flowers.

The sign says Origin in Western Sumatra, Indonesia. I can't help but wonder what is the size of the insects pollinating this huge flower? (just kidding )

Not just the flower is super-sized, a single leaf can be more than 20 feet tall and the nearby sign says it boasts the largest underground corm and unbranched flower cluster in the plant kingdom. Pretty impressive.

After visiting the outside garden we went back to the observatory for one last look. Seymour looks stunning in the evening light.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota Florida