Sprout, The Corpse Plant And My First Visit To Longwood Gardens

Sprout, The Corpse Plant And My First Visit To Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens flowers (7 of 47)
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 Until a few days ago I never heard of a corpse plant.  I have heard of the  Longwood Gardens, but I never had the opportunity to visit these famous gardens near Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. On Friday I had the opportunity to see and visit both. 

Last week my nephew Charlie told me about Sprout, the corpse plant that was about to bloom at Longwood Gardens. These plants,  native to Sumatra only bloom every four to ten years and emit an odor of rotten flesh when they bloom. I had to be in the area on Friday so I decided to check out both the plant and gardens. 

I had to purchase a timed ticket to the  Longwood Gardens. My admission time was 1:30 p.m.  Unfortunately, I arrived around the same time as tropical storm Fay.  Luckily, I had a rain jacket in my car and I rain through the torrential downpour to the visitor center and then to the  Conservatory, where Spout , the corpse plant was located.   Even with my rain gear I was drenched. However,   once I entered I forgot about the rain and my soaked feet and cloths. The beauty of the vast Exhibition Hall  and the many wonderful flowers on display immediately caught my attention and kept it for the next four hours. 

I have always loved flower, plants and trees. My mom and dad  always had flowers in our yard at home. And I have visited botanical gardens on six continents. My nephew told me that the gardens were amazing and that i would love them. I was a little skeptical but I knew as soon as I began to explore the Conservatory that he was right. 

Because of the corona virus you had to walk one way to tour the gardens and visit the corpse plant. I knew I’d be inside the Conservatory for a few hours because of the heavy rain so I decided to walk straight to Sprout and take photos of the many flowers later. I walked through  the splendid acacia passage and came to the orchid display. 

It was amazing and I had to stop and admire these exotic flowers, and to take some photos. 

In all my travels I had  never seen such a large display of orchids. 

So many colors and shapes of  these delicate flowers. 

I admired theses flowers, and enjoyed their sweet aroma for a few minutes before continuing onward to see Sprout. 

I passed  many of the displays on the way  but just walking along the passages  was an experience. What a magnificent place. A little history now. Longwood Gardens  began as a camping site of the local Native Americans.  In 1700  the Pierce family acquired the land and maintained parts of it as a nature preserve. Many of the old forest trees were saved.  In 1906 it was acquired by  Pierre du Pont and was transformed into the wonderful gardens that exist today. The Conservatory is just a small part of the vast estate  and it’s many outdoor gardens.  However, because of heavy downpour I wouldn’t be exploring them this afternoon.

I made my way to the fern passage and the home of  Sprout the corpse plant. Of course, i was disappointed the plant was not in bloom but I still was impressed by its size.

It was about six foot tall. It first appeared in mid-May  and could bloom any day now.  I was staying in Kennett Square overnight and still had a chance to see it bloom on Saturday. 

I continued my exploration of the conservatory and took a closer look at some of the flower and exotic plant displays. I enjoyed the bonsai tree garden. 

I have seen these miniature trees in many gardens around the world and  I always am fascinated by their twisted and stunted branches. 

There were so many displays that caught my eyes as I retraced my steps through the hallways and passages of the  Conservatory including the fruits and vegetables in the estate garden room,

the many desert plants in Silver garden 

and the many colorful species of hibiscus, 

in the tropical terrace. 

There were so many more displays that words and photographs cannot do justice too. 

I continued walking and exploring the gardens until the heavy rains began to let up.

This gave me an opportunity to walk outside in the light rain and explore the water lily gardens. 

These were truly spectacular. 

I never knew there were so many different species of water lilies. 

So many exotic, delicate colors. 

The rain continued to let up and i decided I would explore some of the outdoor gardens. I couldn’t imagine they could compete with the wonderful gardens inside the Conservatory. Here is a link  to a gallery with  some more photos of the flowers and exotic plants I saw in the Conservatory. Longwood Gardens Conservatory flowers July 10 2020.




“…I have set myself and guests to work planting flower seeds whenever I have opportunity.” – P.S. du Pont, 1907

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