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Corpse Flower in Bloom at Cornell University

Written By: Renata Stiehl

Rare, Stinky Plant in Bloom

Corpse Flower in Bloom at Cornell University

     ITHACA (WENY) -- Thousands of people are lining up to get a glimpse and a whiff of an extremely rare, stinky plant at Cornell University. The titan arum, better known as the corpse flower, only blooms once every seven to ten years, for a 48 hour period.

     During that time, it gives off a stench likened to that of rotting human flesh. Cornell botanists culviated this plant from a seed they received in 2002 - all leading up to this moment.

     "What we're ending up with something that's really stinky, really large, and really quite beautiful if you look at it. And there's just something very charismatic about this plant," said Cornell Professor of Plant Biology, Melissa Lucko.

     The plant was polinated by hand Monday, in hopes that it will produce seeds that may someday bloom as this one has. Since the plant cannot polinate itself, the university used pollen donated by SUNY Binghamton, which had a corpse plant which bloomed almost two years ago.

     The university held a naming contest; an overwhelming number of voters chose the name "Wee Stinky" for the foul flower.

For more information about Cornell's corpse plant, click here.

For a link to a blog about the plant, click here.