Throngs Expected to Smell Disgusting 'Corpse Flower'

It's set to bloom later this week at Dartmouth
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 19, 2016 4:58 PM CDT
Throngs Expected to Smell Disgusting 'Corpse Flower'
A young girl braves an up close smell of a carcass flower at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2008.   (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

A flower that smells like a cross between a decaying animal and urine is set to bloom later this week at Dartmouth College. Named Morphy, the titan arum—or corpse flower—hasn't bloomed since 2011, the AP reports. Officials at Dartmouth's Life Sciences Greenhouse, where the 6 ½-foot flower is housed, estimate it should bloom as early as Thursday. Crowds have already been filing through the greenhouse, including nearly 175 on Sunday for a special viewing of the flower that is growing about 4 inches a day in anticipation of its big moment.

As it gets closer to unleashing its foul odor, the flower will turn a red burgundy color—similar to meat—to attract potential pollinators. "It's exciting that we have this flower," said Kim DeLong, the greenhouse manager at Dartmouth who witnessed a corpse flower opening when she worked at the University of California, Berkeley. "The smell is very overpowering. It smells like a dead corpse or feces or urine—all of that together." Dartmouth has extended greenhouse hours this week and has a webcam streaming live images of the flower—including a few showing visitors trying to catch a sniff. Once it blooms, visitors won't have much time to catch a glimpse. It will only remain open for a day, though its smell will linger for a few days after that. (Read more strange stuff stories.)

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