One of the weirdest and smelliest rare flowers in the world is in full bloom at North Carolina State University.

The corpse flower, as it is known for its pungent aroma of rotting flesh, began to open earlier this week, blooming in all its putrid glory Wednesday. 

It’s only bloomed twice since 2016, making this its third full bloom. Formally known as the titan arum, the plant is extremely rare and can grow to be more than six feet fall. 

Registered guests are invited to get close and smell the flower’s morbid scent. 

“They release a horrible odor, hence their name the corpse flower. They have this rotting flesh smell like roadkill to draw in pollinators,” Brandon Huber, who earned a doctorate in horticulture from N.C. State, said during an informational video. “They also release heat to help draw in those pollinators known as thermogenesis.” 

The plant does not bloom until it reaches maturity, which can take up to 13 years, Huber said. The plant currently weighs more than 120 pounds and is related to common house plants, such as peace lilies. 

Huber has a corpse flower he named “Lupin.”

“(Lupin) is following a similar growth track as it did in 2016,” Huber said, “and it’s going to flower about the same size it did in 2016 even though the bulb is more than double what it was last time.”

The bloom is expected to last only two or three days. So, catch it this week or wait several years until the next bloom. 

Check out a live stream of the bloom or register to visit here. 


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Follow Senior Staff Writer Leigh Tauss on Twitter or send an email to ltauss@indyweek.com.