DENVER (CBS4) – Hundreds lined up for hours to see– and smell– the blooming of the corpse flower at Denver Botanic Gardens.

People waited in line for hours, with an average wait time of three hours, to get a glimpse and whiff of the corpse flower now that it is blooming. Some lined up as early at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.

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“It was worth the wait,” said one visitor.

The bloom is a rare event. Experts say it can take up to 20 years for one plant to bloom.

PHOTO GALLERY: Gee That Stinks! Corpse Flower In Bloom

Visitors have described the flower as smelling like rotten eggs, garbage and even an “earthy” smell.

“Just different, it didn’t smell too rotten,” said one visitor.

“Very trash day bad,” said another.

When asked how she would describe the smell, visitor Maureen Spieglman replied, “Smells like… Indianapolis in the summertime.”

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The Denver Botanic Gardens informed the public at 9:45 p.m. Tuesday that their Amorphophallus titatnum had begun opening, releasing its signature stench.

(credit: Denver Botanic Gardens)

(credit: Denver Botanic Gardens)

It’s a unique plant native to an Indonesian island that uses an unpleasant odor to attract insects that then pollinate the flower. And its blooming is rare under cultivation.

Denver Botanic Gardens Curator Nick Snakenberg said researchers have identified chemical compounds inside the flower similar to other odors you may find familiar.

“In rotting fish, in rotting onions, sweat socks,” said Snakenberg.

The corpse flower is about 15 years old and this is the first time it has bloomed. The bloom typically lasts for about two days before it will wither and die.

“This is potentially a once in a lifetime event,” said Snakenberg.

The gardens will have extra hours for viewers to get a whiff of the smelly flower:

– 9 a.m. to midnight on Wednesday
– 6 a.m. to midnight on Thursday.

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Normal 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. hours will resume Friday.