People are traveling far and wide to smell a flower with a stench that's being compared to a dead body. The Muttart Conservatory is Edmonton, Canada, announced the arrival of the endangered corpse flower, Putrella, this week after the rare plant bloomed Sunday night.
“It smells like rotting corpses,” Muttart Education program manager Nicole Fraser told CTV Edmonton Monday. “It’s a rare plant. It’s the only one in western Canada right now.”
Fraser said other guests have compared the smell, used to attract pollinators like carrion beetles, to other unpleasant odors.
“Some people have compared it to dirty diapers; some have compared it to when you find a dead animal on the road,” she said.
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The conservatory extended its visitor hours Monday so patrons could experience the brief 24- to 72-hour blooming period. The new addition created such a frenzy that the facilities parking lot was overflowing at opening this week; the conservatory warned guests of a two-hour wait period to get a whiff of the world's smelliest plant after repeatedly hitting capacity.
“There’s a lot of people coming down to see this plant,” Fraser said.
According to the conservatory’s website, the flower's brief blooming period is due to the large amount of time and energy the plant dedicates to producing a bud and its infamous smell.
"The modified leaf underneath will wither up and curl around the plant, and then it will become dormant," Fraser said. "It won't actually die, but it will absorb those parts and the energy in those parts and save it for a future bloom; it will go back into its life cycle.”
The Putrella flower, scientific name Amorphophallus titanum, weighs 275 pounds and measures in at 8 feet tall. The plant first arrived at the conservatory in August.