Giant Corpse Flower Blooms at U.S. Botanic Garden in D.C. [VIDEO]

First Posted: Jul 22, 2013 06:18 AM EDT

A giant corpse flower, also known as titanium arum, has bloomed at the US Botanic Garden in Washington D.C.

It is not just the Belgians who were lucky to catch a glimpse of the blooming corpse flower on July 10, now visitors in D.C. can also take a whiff of the exotic giant flower that last bloomed at the U.S. Botanic Garden in 2007. The giant plant produces a rotten smell that is similar to the odor of a decomposing mammal.

The flowering plant 'corpse flower,' which is also known as Titan Arum, can grow to a height of three meters and is the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world. The stinking odor attracts several beetles that feed on carrion and it also draws flesh flies that pollinate in it. The giant rainforest plant generally grows in the wild in the equatorial rainforest of Sumatra, Indonesia, and the flower is now considered endangered there. It was first discovered in 1878 (source Wikipedia).


The flowers started blooming Sunday afternoon. By early Monday, the experts believe that the plant will reach its peak smell and it will stay open for the next 24 to 48 hours, reports Associated Press.

Many of the enthusiastic visitors consider this as a life time experience as the flower rarely blossoms. The garden officials have extended the visiting hours.

The corpse flower at the U.S. Botanic Garden is nearly 10 years old. This is its first flower.

"Just in the same way that a lovely smelling plant, like a rose, is attracting a bee or another kind of insect with what we would consider a very nice smell, to pollinate it, this particular plant has the strategy of using a horrible, fetid smell to attract insects," said Ari Novy, the public programs manager at the garden. "So this plant is essentially tricking those kinds of insects into coming, having a party inside of the plant and the flower and pollinating it and then moving on."

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