'Corpse flowers' raise stink on Easter Sunday
A few titan arums bloom each year. In 2010, the Indonesian plant flowered at the botanical gardens in Tokyo.
April 24th, 2011
12:40 PM ET

'Corpse flowers' raise stink on Easter Sunday

In the botanical sciences greenhouse at Ohio State University, "Woody," a titan arum, bloomed Saturday for the first time after growing for nearly 10 years.

The plant, commonly called a "corpse flower" because of its pungent odor,  is the second cultivated titan arum to blossom this weekend. In Switzerland, a botanical garden is getting a whiff of its own titan arum.

“(The leaves) began to open just a little bit after 4 p.m. and it was fully open at 9:30 p.m.,” Ohio State greenhouse coordinator Joan Leonard told CNN Sunday.

And by the smell of it, Woody is giving Leonard all she can stand.

“It definitely has that lathered meat, roadkill kind of smell,” Leonard said. “You know when you take out the trash, and it starts to get that smell like if you put chicken or meat in the garbage well, intensify that,” Leonard said.

Ohio State has opened the greenhouse to the public Sunday and Monday and has set up a webcam to capture the plant online.  Woody is named after OSU's legendary football coach, Woody Hayes.

In Switzerland, long lines have formed at the Basel Botanical Gardens to see the Amorphophallus titanum, CTV News reports.  It's the first time in 17 years the plant has bloomed.

The foul-smelling show in Basel was expected to last several hours before the leaves started to wilt Sunday. But in the meantime, it was raising quite a stink.

‘‘It’s the best thing you can have in a Botanical Garden," said Heinz Schneider of the Botanical Institute at the University of Basel,  according to Euro News. "It’s the star attraction. In terms of visitor numbers we’re at our peak. From now on fewer and fewer people will come," he said.

The plant entered Western culture in 1878 when Italian botanist Odoardo Beccari discovered it in the rainforests of Sumatra. He  sent back to Europe seeds that flowered 11 years later in Britain, according to the Botanical Gardens Kew website. It can grow to be 10 feet tall.

Because of its increased cultivation in botanical gardens, every year finds a few titan arums blooming in various spots around the world.

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Filed under: Agriculture • Indonesia • Ohio
soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. ole Lady

    OK we're having our english class and spelling class today. Someone's having a not so fun Easter.

    April 24, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ole Lady

    That's CNN showing us another "stinky" article.

    April 24, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jazzzzzzzz

    O my , a Bird just landed on my window sill in my bedroom that's right next to my computer where i'm sitting right now. On today of all days. That has NEVER happened before in the 6 yrs I've been.

    April 24, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jazzzzzzzz

    Opps correction " I've been here".

    April 24, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. What Is Going On Here?

    @ole Lady,

    I'm really hoping that wasn't "you" @2:34pm? If it was, then my faith in the human race has gone down several notches.

    And the same goes for Jazzzzzzzz @2:39pm.

    Anyways, trolls or not, Happy Easter!

    April 24, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz

      It's a joke... lighten up. We don't always have to take everything so seriously. I still can have a sense of humor right.

      April 24, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ?

    all this over a stinky flower...Happy Easter to Everyone...Believers or Non Believers...may GOD bless us All 🙂

    April 24, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. RUFFNUTT

    WRONG..you must be serious and say that your sorry and sad for whatever lame story they put on here or they will delete your comment..

    April 24, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. RUFFNUTT

    btw has anyone tried to smoke this flower and see what it does?

    April 24, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. 1608

    HAPPY EASTER.

    I've been trin to say this for 3.5hrs. I hope you all had\have a good day\nite.

    April 24, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ole Lady

    The way it smells must be some really good s#@t.

    April 24, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ole Lady

    @what's going on here. My Bad.

    April 24, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Pablo

    DO NOT TRUST HUSSEIN OBAMA'S LIES!!!! STOCKPILE YOUR GOLD, WATER,AND FOOD IMMEDIATELY!!! RABBI HUSSEIN OBAMA IS USHERING IN THE NWO AND IT SHALL BE KNOCKING UPON THE WORLDS DOORSTEPS AT ANY GIVEN TIME!! NEWS ARTICLES SUCH AS THIS ONE ARE MERELY THINGS TO DISTRACT US FROM THE REAL TRUTH OF THE WORLD!!!
    PALIN/TRUMP 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 24, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Not Pablo

      LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      April 24, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Dude of Life

      AHHHH HA HA HA HA !!!!

      April 25, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Perfesser Firefly

    John,

    re: "should of...should a," I KNOW, I KNOW it's "should have," OK?

    Sorry you fell into a sarchasm.

    🙂

    April 24, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ole Lady

    I believe he was trying slang so its shoulda by the hooked on phonics way he was talking.

    April 24, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. MikeCT

    why is this news? These are not that rare: Two universities within 10 miles of me have blooms every year. I know they are spectacular but this sounds like the OSU PR people fed you a story and you were too lazy to check out the basic facts.

    April 24, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
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