DENVER (CBS4) – All eyes are on the smelliest plant in the Denver Botanic Gardens. The corpse flower is about to bloom and release its signature stench and people are dying to get a whiff.

“This is our amorphophallus titanum, or corpse flower,” curator Nick Snakenberg said.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Snakenberg says the corpse flower releases a signature scent, to say the least, you wouldn’t want to bottle.

“A number of dead mice maybe rotting in an abandoned gym locker,” Snakenberg said.

It’s a process years in the making. The flower is about 15 years old and this will be the first time it’s bloomed. It can take anywhere from two to 10 years to bloom again.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“It uses that odor to attract (beatles and flies) that then pollinate the flowers inside,” Snakenberg said.

The bloom — and the smell — is short lived, only lasting two days before it wilts.

“It’s a fairly rare occurrence for it to bloom under cultivation,” Snakenberg said.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Denver’s flower will be the second to bloom in the country this year after a flower at University of California Berkley earlier this summer. While the scent isn’t one people will necessarily enjoy, it’s one they may never get a chance to smell again.

“You walk in the greenhouse and it kind of hits you in the face,” Snakenberg said. “This plant is native to Sumatra, an Indonesian island and that’s the only place it can be found growing in the wild.”

Once it’s blooming the staff at the Denver Botanic Gardens will use pollen from the corpse flower and cross it with another in Chicago to strengthen the species.

LINK: Denver Botanic Gardens


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