'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. raven

    hi Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, my sista!

    I see you still being a BI@@@TCH..... hahahahahaha you fugly, fugly too!

    April 24, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      ...and girl 2...I like my cup with coffe.

      April 24, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ole Lady

    That's some stinky bud.

    April 24, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. O Der

    Man, this story really stinks...

    April 24, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cassius

    Couldn't be as bad as the Bradford Pear a.k.a. the "Semen Tree" as my friends and I refer to it.

    April 24, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joey

    How is any of this getting published?
    HELLO, JORMA! I see (haisee?) you're sticking this out.
    Nasty Troll!
    (Was that the way the phrase meant that, Jorma?)

    April 24, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. cocochanel50

    Smells just like Tressel and his thug of a team, nasty.

    April 24, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dawg

    And trolls suck so get on your knees

    April 24, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ole Lady

    And dawgs smell buttholes and lick their balls.

    April 24, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ole Lady

    No matter how bad it stinks.

    April 24, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. undead

    This "arum, bloomed Saturday after nearly 10 years" of what? "not blooming" might be one correct answer. A"fter 10 years of not stinking up the greenhouse", might be another.

    Then someone else "set up a webcam to capture the pungent bliss". Did they finally incvent smell-o-vision and forget to tell me? Last time I checked a camera can't capture pungent anything.

    Way to go CNN! Schools around the country are closing because student are failing, but there's always hope of a job with one of the largest news organizations in the world.

    April 24, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. undead

    And it's time to retire this keyboard as the c key is typing on it's own. I hate when that happens.

    April 24, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ole Lady


    April 24, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Simon

    I thought that "Woody" was named after Woody Harelson for some reason.

    April 24, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. yaya


    April 24, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ol Lady

    Its actually my crotch theyre smelling as i havent had it in sooo long! turns green then i have to use bleach on it

    April 24, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
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