Look but don’t touch—no matter how tempting it is.
I woke up early Tuesday morning and, like the vast majority of my twenty-something ilk, reached for my iPhone with that usual sense digital urgency. Was there a text I missed? Did I get an urgent email at 3:30am? Did that hella fine boy swipe right on me? And, after doing the aforementioned activities, I dipped in the the murky waters of social media—where, alas, I was confronted with an odd example of defilement: flower molestation.
By now, I’m assuming a vast sum of you have seen the video of a sober, presumably sane man, quite frankly, fondling a massive corpse flower. He ignored all blatant signs and barriers to give a ten-foot-tall bloom, essentially, a hand job. Oh, and it was all live streamed to makes matters worse. (And more awkward.)
“We were all pretty saddened to see a visitor handling a plant in our collection with sort of a lack of respect for what the other visitors experience,” Conservatory spokeswoman Nina Sazevich said to SFGate.
Terra, as she goes by, was donated to the conservatory some nine-years ago when she outgrew her Bay Area bathroom confines. Now sexually mature, the titan arum blossom—native to the marshes and wetlands of Indonesia—blooms only ever so often, treating all those in sight with her burgundy hues. She’s a treasure; she’s admired by many, as such.
But that, however, doesn’t mean she’s not subject to bewildering displays of ignorance.
The man in the video below can be seen—again, for no apparent reason other than to perhaps impress his womanly accomplice—pulling, yanking, and striking at Terra. At some point, he even goes as far as attempting to peel back her voluptuous petals.
Thankfully, despite his defiling display, Terra appears to be alright.
The damage to her blossom appears to be minimal, Sazevich latter went on to add — and the conservatory plans to keep the bloom, which covers the plant’s phallic-like branch with bright green outside and deep purple inside, on display for a few more days, while it lasts.
Moral of the story: go experience Terra in all her incredibly rare and beguiling regalia—but look, don’t touch. Don’t be “that guy.”
If you can't make it out, check out the livestream below.
// 100 John F Kennedy Dr, Golden Gate Park, conservatoryofflowers.org