‘Corpse flower” all set to bloom at University of Minnesota

‘Corpse flower” all set to bloom at University of Minnesota

A rare “corpse flower” that smells as bad as a decomposing corpse, is all set to bloom at the University of Minnesota (U of M) for the first time in seven years, university officials announced.

The plant, formally called Amorphophallus titanum, stands nearly 6-foot-tall. It blooms once in many years, only for a few days. Then its slips back into a dormant state for years until it is ready to bloom again for a few days.

Announcing that the flower would soon bloom again, Conservatory Curator Lisa Aston Philander told reporters that thousands of visitors would show up to “inhale” the flower’s awful smell.

Speaking about the plant, Philander said, “Botanical gardens around the world build entire festivals around this single plant. Tens of thousands of visitors show up just to inhale this awful ‘carrion’ smell … And the scent changes over the estimated 48 hours that the plant is in bloom.”

Those who want to inhale the flower’s ‘carrion’ smell can stop by the stinky flower at the U of M’s College of Biological Sciences Conservatory in St. Paul starting this Monday. The conservatory will remain open through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The so-called corpse flower, which is native to Sumatra’s equatorial rain forests, uses its awful smell to cut through “the riot of scents” competing for the sweat bee that pollinates the flower. The bees can smell the flower from miles away.

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