KCBS_740 WASHINGTON D.C. (KCBS) — The Corpse Flower grows in the jungles of Sumatra and can reach heights of six feet or more. It’s bloom lasts only a few days and then the fun starts.

U.C. Botanical Garden Director Paul Licht watched throngs of people pack the garden just to see the sight and get a whiff last year.

“Rotting cabbage, dead fish, and dirty socks – I think if you mix those together in the right combination, you get a Titan Arum,” Licht said.

Right now, that same Titan Arum is blooming in the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington D.C. Executive director Ari Novy says aside from the pungent odor, the corpse flower can generate heat to more than 100 degrees.

“It shoots the smell up into the forest canopy, where the wind can grab it, and carry it for miles so that these insects that love rotting flesh – these carrion beetles, and flies are attracted to it from miles away,” Novy said.

Two other corpse flowers bloomed recently in special greenhouses in New York and Florida. It really is a strangely beautiful plant that Novy calls “The rock star of the botany world.”


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