Blooming Corpse Flower Stinks Up DC to the Delight of Tourists

Courtesy of U.S. Botanic Garden(WASHINGTON) -- A plant that looks like a specimen straight out of the 1986 film “Little Shop of Horrors” is bringing delight to visitors at the U.S. Botanic Garden as it begins to bloom and release its famed rotten stench.

For weeks, tourists have been flocking to the U.S. Botanical Garden to take selfies with the giant plant, but Tuesday is the first time visitors will get a whiff of the corpse flower.

The Amorphoplallus titanium, or corpse flower, can grow up to 12 feet tall, and once its petals unfurl, the flower releases a scent that's been described as “rotten meat with hints of garlic” and a “steaming dumpster.”

While the odor might repulse most humans, the smell actually attracts bugs, which then serve as pollinators for the plant.

Special conditions are required for the corpse flower to bloom and visitors to have the rare olfactory experience. The plant favors the kind of hot and humid conditions found in its native Sumatra, Indonesia, and can take up to 10 years for its first bloom. After that, the plant blooms every three to four years.

The corpse flower blooming at the U.S. Botanic Garden has more than doubled in size during the past few weeks alone. On July 18, the plant was 34 inches but by Aug. 1, the stylus of the plant had reached 88 inches.

Now the corpse flower has bloomed, it will release the scent for the next 24 to 48 hours while its petals are open.

The U.S. Botanic Garden will be keeping its doors open late so those with brave enough noses can take a sniff.

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California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfires

California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfiresGoogle Earth(NEW YORK) -- Ravaged by a slew of deadly wildfires in recent days, northern California is set to get a bit of relief this week in the form of rain.

A storm system is expected to move over the Pacific Northwest later this week and the trailing cold front will most likely bring some much-needed rain to northern California between Thursday and Friday, according to ABC meteorologists.

"It will rain a bit but not enough to fully douse the blazes," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark said in a statement Tuesday. "The biggest advantage to firefighters will be the increase in humidity and lower temperatures."

Massive wildfires have charred more than 245,000 acres of land statewide in the past week, killing at least 41 people and destroying thousands of homes, according to authorities.

Firefighters were battling about a dozen wildfires as of late Tuesday evening, although most of them were more than halfway contained.

“The weather today will be warm with low humidity, which will continue to challenge firefighters, but only light winds are forecast,” CalFire said in a statement on Tuesday. “A chance of precipitation is expected to arrive later in the week, bringing relief from the dry conditions.”

The northern parts of the Golden State, which has bared the brunt of the fire damage, is forecast to see an influx of cloudy, cooler and wetter weather later in the week, according to AccuWeather.

Spotter from Los Osos was reporting sprinkles from this high level moisture. Dry at lower levels. Rain evaporates. Also called "Virga" #cawx pic.twitter.com/sgxj3bdXZQ

— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) October 18, 2017

However, a return of dry air, heat and areas of gusty winds could once again raise the wildfire danger early next week, meteorologists said.

Separately, a band of moisture, referred to as Atmospheric River by weather experts, is currently stretching between Asia and North America. It’s expected to bring several storm systems into many parts of the Pacific Northwest through the rest of the week.

The first of these storms have already hit the Pacific Northwest with wind gusts of between 40 and 74 mph.

A number of wind warnings and flood watches are in effect in the western and northern parts of the U.S. ahead of the storm.

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