For weeks, gawkers lined up at the U.S. Botanic Garden, hoping to be among the lucky ones to catch the show when a giant-sized corpse flower bloomed for the first time in seven years.
Even without the smell, a flower that blooms every seven years is interesting. Here’s a much better option if you just want a plant that takes five to seven years to flower:
The Himalayas in general seem to have a magical quality, and the giant Himalayan lily (Cardiocrinum giganteum) that makes its home there is no exception. For most of its life, it exists as an unassuming clump of glossy leaves, but after five to seven years, it mysteriously sprouts up to three meters (9.8 feet) and produces a gift of delicate, trumpet-shaped flowers.
It is the largest of all types of lilies and grows naturally in high elevations from northern India to Japan. However, explorers discovered the flower in the mid-1800s, and ever since, long-suffering gardeners have had success growing this plant in a variety of climates.