Countdown with extreme odor.
It could happen any time now. The unmistakable stench has already begun spreading from the Titan Arum (or jätteknölkalla, as it is known in Swedish) at the Bergianska garden, and that’s a sign it is soon to bloom. If so, it will be the third time a plant of its kind blooms in Sweden since 1935. “We dare not say exactly when it will happen, it’s like a birth, it will happen when it’s ready,” says Karin Martinsson, botanist and first Garden Curator at Bergianska, which is located north of Stockholm. The Titan Arum is a strange plant indeed. It is native to western Sumatra, where it grows in openings in rainforests on limestone hills; botanic gardens and private collectors around the world also cultivate it. It can reach over 3 meters (10 feet) in height and is related to the calla lily. But it is mostly famous for its odor, which is reminiscent of the smell of a decomposing mammal, (it is also called “corpse flower”). The "fragrance" of the inflorescence resembles rotting meat, attracting carrion-eating beetles and Flesh Flies that pollinate it. The Bergianska has had the plant since 1996, when an amateur botanist from Huddinge gave it to them. He had in turn gotten the seeds from Sumatra. It has now stood at Bergianska for 16 years. “One has to wait 15 years before it blooms,” explains Karin Martinsson patiently. And looking at pictures of the plant in bloom, it seems to be well worth the wait, in spite of the stench.

For more info, see Bergianska Trädgården or Nu blommar Jätteknölkallan