Monday, June 04, 2018

Biltmore Roses (plus a corpse flower cousin)

We paid a visit to the Biltmore gardens while I was visiting my folks in North Carolina. We went to see the Chihuly exhibit there and it was fun seeing some of the same pieces as I'd seen at the New York Botanical Garden with my friend Mandy last Fall, and I will have some photos from that, but first, here are some photos from the rose garden, which must have been just about at peak.

I have notes on two of these photos, everything else is just prettiness:

1. My sister noticed these unusual large blooms and brought me over to see them. The maroon flowers with the central spikes were enormous, over a foot long, and then as I admired them I noticed that there was a rotten smell in the air and that there were flies all over them. I guessed correctly that this is a relative of the world-famous corpse flower, using a similar technique to draw pollinating flies. I got to see a corpse flower a few years ago when the one they have at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden bloomed; it was a seriously impressive thing to see, but by the time I saw it the smell for which the plant is named was gone. Now I have a very good idea! It was actually a little hard to figure out a relative of the corpse flower on the internet, because search terms including "corpse flower" just bring up ten million articles about various corpse flowers blooming at various botanical gardens, but tonight I finally found the name voodoo lily (it has other names too but that was the first one I found).

2. And now I'm wishing that for just one post I could turn on the smell-o-vision feature - if the voodoo lily was one of the worst-smelling plants I've ever smelled, this rose was at the opposite end of the spectrum. There were plenty of roses in this garden that were clearly bred for looks, not scent, but I love a rose that smells like a rose, and I think my favorite part of the garden was the section was the part with the fragrant roses. This may not have been the most glamorous rose in the garden but it just smelled so beautiful! 

And that's it for the sniff notes. All pictures from here, click on any of them for a better view. 


Rebecca Olkowski said...

What beautiful flowers. Too bad about the smell? I've heard about corpse flowers but haven't whiffed one yet.

bonnie said...

If you ever hear one is about to bloom in a botanical garden anywhere near you, apparently the trick is to get there as soon as you can after it open, at least if you want to get the full corpse effect - the flower stops smelling after a few days.

I totally wouldn't want one of these in a small garden but it was pretty neat to see (and smell)!

Diane Tolley said...

Absolutely glorious gardens and flowers!
We have a corpse flower, creatively names Putrella, here in Edmonton. It bloomed last year. It is over ten feet high when it blooms! And the stink! Gahhh!

LauraEhlers said...

What beautiful gardens! There is nothing like blooming rose bushes. I grew up around the 'old fashioned' roses, which smelled like roses. They were magical. And WOW - that voodoo lily was awesome!