Hundreds visit abandoned gas station to view corpse flower bloom

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May 20 (UPI) -- Hundreds of people lined up outside an abandoned gas station in California for the chance to get up close and personal with a rare plant known as a corpse flower.

The corpse flower, scientifically known as amorphophallus titanum, belongs to gardener Solomon Leyva, who brought his plant to the old Art Deco gas station in Alameda to share it with the community.


The plant, which only blooms once every several years, is known as the corpse flower due to the pungent odor it releases while blooming.

"It produces a tree-like looking plant with a really wide canopy," Leyva told KGO-TV. "It produces it over and over every year until the bulb has sort of enough energy for it to bloom. This can take 10 years, this can take 15, this can take 20."

Leyva said he wanted the community to have the chance to get up close and personal with the plant, which normally can only be seen blooming at facilities where the public is kept separated from the plants by barriers.

"I think everyone's tripping out that they can walk up and wiggle it and smell it. A lot of fun for everybody," he told the San Francisco Chronicle.


Leyva estimated at least 1,400 people had lined up to see the plant.

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