WATCH: San Antonio Zoo says corpse flower ‘starting to stink,’ close to blooming

The flower smells like wet garbage, the zoo says

Corpse flower at the San Antonio Zoo (Image courtesy of San Antonio Zoo)

SAN ANTONIO – La Llorona is starting to smell — and that’s actually a good thing.

The San Antonio Zoo said Saturday that its corpse flower, recently (and fittingly) named La Llorona, is close to blooming, meaning it’s starting to emit its famous stench.

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The flower smells like wet garbage, the zoo says, though people typically say it smells like a decaying corpse, hence its name.

Watch a live stream of the flower below by clicking on the player.

“Zoo officials encourage guests to hurry and smell the corpse flower and describe what it smells like using #LaLlorona and #SAZooCorpseFlower before it is too late,” the zoo said in an email on Saturday.

The zoo added that the flower has grown more than 10 inches in the last week and is expected to bloom any day now.

Guests at the zoo can view the flower with standard admission. It is on display near the “Back From The Brink” Whooping Crane habitat.

Zoo officials said the flower gets its scent and heat from more than 30 chemicals. It attracts carrion beetles and flesh flies who pollinate the flower.

The bloom could last up to four days.

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About the Author

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

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