There is a patch of these bizarre looking flowers growing on the point at El Capitan State Beach. They caught my eye once as I was walking by and, recognizing the bloom, I walked over to take a whiff. It reeked like a dead animal. Bingo. The corpse flower. It’s apparently some sort of Amorphophallus.
The plants grow about knee high, the flowers themselves about a foot long. And although the first time I sniffed one awhile back it had a strong odor of death, the last time I checked, the flower I smelled had no scent.
I wonder how the plant got there. When I used to live up in the canyon there was an old cabin that stood on El Capitan point against the hill just below the creek. Perhaps a ranger or somebody planted them many years ago just in front of the beachfront quarters.