No Sweet Smell: Stinky ‘Corpse Flower’ Prepares to Bloom in Ohio

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A flowering titan arum on display in Washington, D.C.

Looking eerily like Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors, this plant is capable of almost as much harm – but only to your senses.

The scent of spring flowers has begun to fill the air. But this is one new bloom you won’t want a whiff of. So what exactly does it smell like?

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Rotting flesh. A dead corpse. Meat-like. Ohio State students should be sure to plug their noses around the titan arum as those are some of the terms being used to describe its scent. The university is bracing for the stinky flower’s bloom in May.

Spectators will only have a few days to enjoy the titan arum’s massive sprouting flowers, as it tends to wither quickly after opening. This is quite a dismal prospect for the college’s greenhouse scientists, who’ve spent a decade cultivating the 8-foot-tall plant.

The titan arum is native to the Indonesian rainforest, making it a rare treat for the States – though some might feel otherwise about its appearance given its rotting flesh odor.

Ohio State plans to host visiting hours for spectators to gaze upon the majestic flower. May we recommend nose plugs?

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