'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. i rock

    i like turtles

    April 24, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ole Lady

    Should've anyone?

    April 24, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Joey

    I of taking a knew write and course. I now espresso my self Thee way word sound two me as log is it go with a correct spell wad in the book.

    April 24, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz

      Stop, Your being mean now.

      April 24, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ALLTALK NOPLAY

    oh my goodness, what poor insect could or would get close enough to pollinate this thing? My gosh maybe a housefly? a lizard?

    April 24, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. vrim

    I've smelled one of those. Those things are rancid.

    April 24, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joey

    Hey, Jazzzz.
    Who is being mean?
    Moi?

    April 24, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz

      why can't I post ?

      April 24, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. tifoso

    For those not current on Latin roots, the plant's name, Amorphophallus, translates to "in the form of a (male external genital)".

    April 24, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      Are you sure? Where does amor fits in? Maybe it means funky love handle.

      April 24, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ole Lady

    Lmao!! Stinky balls!!!

    April 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      lololol...you poor guys to have such a stinky mascot for the manhood...a fine
      fitting answer to what are little boys are made of?

      April 24, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ole Lady

    But a stinky one is not better than a micro one.

    April 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joey

    tifoso,
    Thank you for writing that sentence.
    I don't think we're in phonics anymore.

    April 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Outsider

    haisee paska!!!

    April 24, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      this man is best friend to 2 girls and a cup. Get this man a roll of tissue paper...his mouth is full of....

      April 24, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      you need to mouthwash with a couple of gallons of mag citrate...

      April 24, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Outsider

      I'm Finnish and it means "smells like C/R/A/P". Obviously Mmmmmmm, you are versed in the Finnish language which is excellent!
      It was a pretty light comment compared to other comments on this thread. 🙁

      Jorma

      April 24, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • MmmmmmTroooolllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

      hi, I Mmmmmmmmm and I a,

      Trollllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
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      April 24, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      @m's troll you must be girl 1

      April 24, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. dawg

    Jazzzz just forgot to close her legs. .leave that bird alone lest you bite off its head

    April 24, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Fish

    "Feed me Seymour!"

    April 24, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. dawg

    You cant post cuz you are mean to us

    April 24, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. again?

    This story seems to pop up at Least once a year. This isn't that big of a deal to begin with, but to report on it Every Single Time one of them blooms? I could understand it if it were the only one of them in the World, but come on... I can buy these things online all day long. Yes, they only bloom once every so many years... but there are TONS of them all over the world now and somewhere one is blooming all the time. Get over it.

    April 24, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
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