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‘Putrid' Corpse Flower Blooms at US Botanic Garden

The smell of the corpse flower is often compared to rotting flesh

U.S. Botanic Garden

A rare, 8-foot tall flower known for its powerful stench reached peak bloom at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C.

The Amorphophallus titanium reached peak bloom Thursday. The plant is nine years old, and 2022 marked its first bloom, according to the U.S. Botanic Garden.

The corpse flower is a humongous plant featuring a tall spike, called a spadix, that is surrounded by a flower that’s purple inside. Its smell is often compared to rotting flesh.

The plant doubled in height from May 19 to May 31 and opened as it reached 97 inches in height. Peak bloom typically lasts up to 36 hours, according to the Chicago Botanical Garden.

The flower will be on display in the Garden Court of the Conservatory daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visitors may want to double up on face masks.

“Its putrid smell is most potent during peak bloom at night into the early morning. The odor is often compared to the stench of rotting flesh,” the botanic garden website says.

Corpse flowers bloom unpredictably, possibly every few years to more than a decade, the botanic garden says. The garden’s seen several of its corpse flowers bloom recently, including in 2021, 2020 and 2017, when three blooms grew.

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