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Oddly Enough

'Corpse flower' stinks as it blooms

Monday, July 22, 2013 - 01:13

July 22 - Visitors flocked to the U.S. Botanical Gardens for a whiff of the famous 'corpse plant' which emits a rotten flesh-like odor as it blooms. Deborah Gembara reports.

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It's a site to behold --- and according to botanists, the towering plant is called the 'corpse flower' for a reason. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BILL MCLAUGHLIN, PLANT CURATOR AT THE NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN, SAYING: "A lot of its lure is wrapped in the fact that for a period of 10 or 12 hours, it makes a horrible stench of rotten flesh." Visitors hoping to get a whiff of the pungent plant were spared after it bloomed overnight. In the process, it also soared to a commanding eight feet tall --- making it the largest unbranched flower in the world. (SOUNDBITE) (English) KALLEN BENSON, SAYING: "I think it's taller than any plant I've seen besides trees, I think it's quite cool." Even without the stench, the Indonesian flower has quite a following. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ANTOINETTE CHARLES, CORPSE FLOWER ENTHUSIAST, SAYING: "You know what, it's amazing. I'd have to say, that's the word for it, it's amazing. I've been watching it online also, so when I'm not here physically I actually have been online taking a look everyday keeping my view of the live cam up. So, it's a fascinating phenomena to watch this plant, because it only happens so often, I think every five years or so it's bloomed here, so it's pretty awesome to see it." The flower, which was the size of a lima bean when it arrived at the U.S. Botanical Garden in Washington in 2007, now weighs around 250 pounds.

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'Corpse flower' stinks as it blooms

Monday, July 22, 2013 - 01:13