NEW YORK, NY - What is that horrible smell? Is it rotting meat? No, it's the world's largest flower, and it isn't dying- it's blooming, as it does only once every seven to ten years. The exotic Corpse Flower, so named for its unbearable stench- is temperamental, unpredictable, and a fan favorite at botanical gardens. Originally found in Southeast Asia, it's been making headlines as four different plants opened up on the east coast in the same week.
The odor is meant to attract pollinators, but news of the bloom at the New York Botanical Garden drew thousands of visitors who were hoping to catch a whiff of the putrid 6 foot flower.
The bloom only lasts for 24- 36 hours, and requires a tremendous amount of energy, heating up to 100 degrees. The frill folds down, revealing the red interior and then the stink pours out in waves. We can't imagine anyone lining up to smell a carcass or rancid garbage, but since it's a rare flower...admit it, you kind of want to smell it for yourself.
There are about 100 cultivated corpse flowers around the world. And you never know when one might bloom.