How could a flower which blooms for a few seconds and then dies be remotely viable? Plants flower for a reason, and even those that almost never bloom do so for long enough to allow pollination. Perhaps it was specifically bred that way, but it seems like a pretty bad idea to breed for such a thing. Furthermore, how did they know the precise timing of when it would bloom? — anonymous
When it blooms it sends out millions and millions of invisible spores.
A good possibility. It would mean the thing that's blooming isn't an actual flower, but something more analogous to a dandelion head. That still leaves the issue of how it pollinates, but perhaps the botanical flower is simply unobtrusive enough to be ignored. The issue of flowering once in 40 years is less impossible.
It could be a genetically engineered failure that is only grown for the bragging rights.
Yeah, that sounds like something Mr. Wilson would grow.
Sorry, but the flower is very real. It's called a Corpse Flower. Addressing the central question here though, the flower blooms once every seven to ten years, which could easily mean that it's bloomed several times while it was in Mr. Wilson's possession, but this is the first time he'll have an audience, and the plant likely wouldn't have bloomed again. Alternatively, as they rarely bloom in domestic conditions, the flower may never have bloomed but it had actually started budding in time for this event.