It's about to smell like rotting meat at the U of M: Rare 'corpse flower' set to bloom

Author:
Updated:
Original:

A rare "corpse flower" at the University of Minnesota is set to bloom for the first time in seven years, the university says.

The plant, called Amorphophallus titanum, is preparing to bloom, and when it does it smells like rotting meat – which is why it's nicknamed the "corpse flower."

And if you want to catch a whiff of the flower, you better move fast. The roughly 6-foot-tall plant only blooms for a few days, and then goes back to being dormant until it's ready to bloom again – which can be several years.

“Botanical gardens around the world build entire festivals around this single plant,” Conservatory Curator Lisa Aston Philander said in a news release, noting thousands of visitors show up to "inhale this awful 'carrion' smell."

Philander explains the "corpse flower" is a thermogenic plant that warms itself, which allows the odor to "volatilize" – the warmer it gets, the more stinky it is.

"And the scent changes over the estimated 48 hours that the plant is in bloom," Philander says.

You can stop by to smell the stinky flower at the U of M's College of Biological Sciences Conservatory in St. Paul starting Monday. The conservatory is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For more information on visiting, click here

Why does it smell?

It's all about competition.

The "corpse flower" is native to Sumatra’s equatorial rain forests, and it uses its strong smell to "cut through the riot of scents" competing for the sweat bee, which pollinates the flower.

The bees can smell the plant from miles away.

Read more about the corpse flower here.

Next Up

Gary Kubiak

Vikings offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak announces retirement

Kubiak wraps up a career that has spanned nearly four decades.

alphaMPD

Minneapolis police seeks public help finding missing woman

A 63-year-old woman has been missing since Tuesday

coronavirus testing

Don't want to talk to a contact tracer? MN debuts online option after positive test

The department says the survey will allow its staff to keep track of more cases at a faster pace

Family Dollar

Money Gal Coaching: 12 things you are wasting your money on

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.

police lights

Three teens charged in Minneapolis robberies

The incidents took place on Saturday in Minneapolis.

covid-19, coronavirus, ppe

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Thursday, January 21

It's the first time in exactly four months that Minnesota has had fewer than 100 COVID patients in intensive care.

icy roads, bad roads

Girl, 16, killed in crash with semi on icy Minnesota road

The crash happened in Dodge County around 8 a.m. Wednesday.

police lights

Road rage incident sees driver punch out man's window, punch him in face

The incident happened in Waite Park Wednesday morning.

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 7.01.24 AM

Minneapolis will recover $100K in costs connected to 2019 Trump rally

The Target Center operator said it'll pay the costs over three years.

Jacob Frey

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey confirms run for reelection

He has faced criticism over the city's response to George Floyd's death.

Related