Paiko’s Triple-Tested Recipe for Corpse Flower Wedding Bouquet


    At the botanical boutique Paiko, in Kakaako, Tamara Rigney and Courtney Monahan love weddings, especially the expensive kind. Those really pay the bills. But the two co-owners also understand that sometimes it’s important to save money, too, and what better way to do that than by building your own bouquet out of pounds of fresh wildflowers that you picked yourself?

    With the recent news that an amophophallus titanum, or corpse flower, is in a rare bloom at Foster Botanical Gardens (where Rigney is also a board member), we just couldn’t resist whipping out Paiko’s old recipe card to celebrate this occasion: the Corpse Flower Wedding Bouquet. It’s special because, not only do these things bloom only a few times a decade, they also show your future husband just how much he means to you. What’s more, in full bloom, a corpse flower bouquet can be the same body temperature and weight as you when you walk down the aisle, hand in hand. Sometimes, it’s the little touches that make a wedding memorable. As a special treat after your wedding, the corpse flower makes a great honeymoon lei.

    Step 1: Selecting the Right Corpse

    Choosing the perfect corpse is an important decision. As the rare amophophallus titanum only blooms once every three to five years, be sure to plan your wedding accordingly. In a pinch, only pick a corpse with a shapely spadix and firm spathe, as this will go further when you toss it to your bridesmaids.

    Step 2: Preparation

    As always, be careful when sawing the stem of the corpse flower, as a healthy amophophallus titanum can weigh as much as 110 pounds, and its girth has been known to flatten some to the Earth. In a separate bowl, lightly spritz the billy balls until they have a dewy glow.

    Step 3: Assembling the Bouquet

    Working in a clockwise direction, tape the baby’s breath to the base of the stem, filling in with trimmed smoke bush and sugared grapes. Go lightly with the sugared grapes, as a little goes a long way. Once the billy balls have satisfied you, tuck them in and around the spathe in a conservative fashion. Don’t go willy nilly! Ball placement is crucial to your design. Hold on to the tulips in a separate hand. We might not need the hellebore, but it’s good that you prepared them.

    Step 4: Adding Flair

    This is where you might introduce flesh flies, as these are highly attracted to the rotting-meat aroma of corpse flowers and provide an aura of movement to the bouquet. For a finishing touch, the right carrion-eating beetle can make your bouquet stand out from the rest. Secure by looping everything together with 6 feet of 3-inch mooring rope and tying it with a double half hitch knot. Simply store in a meat fridge until your special day.


    While this class is an Offsetter exclusive, Paiko owners Tamara Rigney and Courtney Monahan teach real workshops at their store at 675 Auahi St. in Kakaako. Upcoming classes include succulent garden, native plant propagation, and staghorn fern mounting workshops. Visit

    Foster Botanical Garden is open daily from 9am–4pm (except for Christmas and New Years Day). Daily admission ranges from $1–$5. Their corpse flower is only for viewing and smelling, not picking.

    Send in your pics and let us know how yours turned out!

    Illustration by Dana Paresa.