Stinky corpse flower blooms in Washington

Jul 22, 2013
Tourists look at the blooming titan arum plant on July 22, 2013 at the US Botanic Garden in Washington, DC. The plant, also known as the corpse flower or stinky plant, is blooming and may remain in bloom for 24 to 48 hours, and then it will collapse quickly.

A towering plant that smells like rotting meat and is native to the Indonesian rainforest is in full bloom in the US capital, drawing throngs of tourists, officials said Monday.

The , among the world's largest , began blooming on Sunday at the United States Botanic Garden, and its petals are expected to stay open for just 24 to 48 hours.

"Then it will collapse quickly," said the Botanic Garden, which is broadcasting the flower and the camera-raising crowds it is drawing live on the Internet.

The flower is eight feet tall (2.4 meters) and smells of decomposing flesh in order to attract pollinators like .

Its blooming is unpredictable, and may happen every few years or every few decades.

"The plant requires very special conditions, including warm day and night temperatures and high humidity, making Botanic Gardens well suited to support this strange plant outside of its natural range," the garden said.

The plant was first discovered in 1878 and the last time one bloomed at the US Botanic Garden was in 2007.

"We have had more than 98,000 people come visit from July 11 through July 21... unbelievable number of people!" said garden spokeswoman Laura Condeluci.

Visitors waited in line in soaring summer heat for a chance to see and smell the flower, but some were disappointed that the worst of the stench had already passed.

"Not nearly as smelly as I had hoped," tweeted one visitor named Robin.

Explore further: The influence of the Isthmus of Panama in the evolution of freshwater shrimps in America

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Smelly monster 'corpse' flower in bloom in Brussels

Jul 08, 2013

A Titan Arum, one of the world's largest, rarest and smelliest flowers, is in bloom in a Brussels hothouse for the third time in five years in a rare botanical feat for a plant that generally goes years without ...

Botanical Garden braces for blooming corpse plant

Jun 21, 2010

The University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley, nestled in Strawberry Canyon just above the central campus, features a mind-boggling 12,000 kinds of plants and breathtaking views of the Bay Area. ...

A rare rainforest plant blooms at Harvard

Jul 14, 2010

The elusive titan arum is a prehistoric sight. The unusual plant, housed at the greenhouse at the Biological Laboratories building, is more than 4 feet tall with a skyward-jutting branch called an inflorescence ...

Recommended for you

Dogs hear our words and how we say them

19 hours ago

When people hear another person talking to them, they respond not only to what is being said—those consonants and vowels strung together into words and sentences—but also to other features of that speech—the ...

Amazonian shrimps: An underwater world still unknown

20 hours ago

A study reveals how little we know about the Amazonian diversity. Aiming to resolve a scientific debate about the validity of two species of freshwater shrimp described in the first half of the last century, ...

Factors that drive sexual traits

21 hours ago

Many male animals have multiple displays and behaviours to attract females; and often the larger or greater the better.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Iochroma
1 / 5 (1) Jul 22, 2013
Amorphophallus titanum is *not* "among the world's largest plants..."; it is dwarfed by many trees. The flowering structure is large, but two other species in the genus are larger; Certian Puyas have much more massive flowers.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.