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.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Check Also

Celebrities, politicians post tributes to comedian, activist Dick Gregory

Celebrities, politicians post tributes to comedian, activist Dick GregoryBrent N. Clarke/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The death of comedian and activist Dick Gregory at age 84 on Saturday prompted a flood of tributes on Twitter from celebrities, activists and others.

Jane Sanders recalled how her husband -- Bernie Sanders, Democratic senator from Vermont and former presidential candidate -- once spent a night in jail with Gregory after protesting segregation in Chicago.

RIP Dick Gregory, a good & brave man. He & @SenSanders spent the night in jail together for protesting Chicago segregated schools in the 60s https://t.co/pYpMU34eOx

— Jane O'Meara Sanders (@janeosanders) August 20, 2017

Democratic National Committee vice chairman Keith Ellison posted a photo of himself with Gregory. "Thank you for giving yourself to all of us," he wrote.

Dick Gregory, may God Bless you and Keep you. Thank you for giving yourself to all of us. pic.twitter.com/Z1dLIvYuBn

— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) August 20, 2017

Activist and writer Shaun King posted pictures of Gregory as a young man. "Rest in power, good sir," King wrote.

Because many of you probably only knew Dick Gregory as an older man, I wanted to show you these young images.

Rest in power good sir. pic.twitter.com/ZayInokcaJ

— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) August 20, 2017

Singer John Legend called Gregory a "groundbreaker in comedy and a voice for justice."

Dick Gregory lived an amazing, revolutionary life. A groundbreaker in comedy and a voice for justice. RIP

— John Legend (@johnlegend) August 20, 2017

Some people posted excerpts from Gregory's memoir, "Callous on My Soul," such as when he wrote about a waitress in the South telling him that they "don't serve colored people."

White lady: We don't serve colored people here.

Dick Gregory: I don't eat colored people. Bring me a whole fried chicken.

RIP Mr. Gregory😰 pic.twitter.com/t8dnuRJhBC

— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) August 20, 2017

Here is a sample of some other tweets paying tribute to Gregory and lamenting his passing.

Comedian Dick Gregory always told it like it is. Our laughter was fuel to fight for justice in an unjust world. RIP 1932-2017 pic.twitter.com/wpbdEkvny1

— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) August 20, 2017

Marching w/ King. Sitting w/ Ali. Paving the way for our comedic greats. All while fighting for us.

Rest well Dick Gregory. #blkcreatives pic.twitter.com/GsfRTjHSuy

— #blkcreatives netwrk (@blkcreatives) August 20, 2017

He taught us how to laugh. He taught us how to fight.He taught us how to live.Dick Gregory was committed to justice.I miss him already. #RIP pic.twitter.com/3CfpM2O17D

— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) August 20, 2017

Rest In Peace to civil rights icon Dick Gregory. An inspiration. A hero. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/kIzeYMNjor

— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) August 20, 2017


Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.