World’s Smelliest Flower Blooms in Berkeley

Titan Arum (Stephen Jaffe / AFP / Getty)
Stephen Jaffe / AFP / Getty
Los Angeles, CA

Nicknamed the “corpse flower,” the gigantic, stinky Titan Aram has just bloomed at Berkeley’s UC Botanical Garden and is expected to draw massive crowds during its day or two blooming period.

Not only one of the world’s largest blooms, it odoriferous plant smells like a rotting corpse for about a day while it opens to the world. Hence the name “corpse flower.”

It’s also not technically one flower, according to the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden website. The 10-15 foot plant is actually a stalk of many flowers that typically takes seven years to bloom. The bright green leaves surrounding the stalk open to reveal the deep maroon color on the inside of the leaves.

“If pollinated, the stalk grows into a large club-like head of orange-red seeds,” the botanical garden notes. The offensive odor is a method of attracting insects to pollinate the Indonesian native plant. At the same time, the flower heats up to human body temperature. The San Francisco Chronicle noted that the offensive smell can be whiffed from up to half a mile away.

This particular plant has been nicknamed “Trudy” and first bloomed at the gardens July 15, 2005. Reblooms occurred July 14, 2009 and in 2012. The gardens has also hosted Titania, Odora, Odoardo, Tiny, Maladora and Little Stinker.

The garden is holding special hours in light of the rare event from 9am to 7pm Monday and Wednesday and 9 am to 5 pm on Tuesday.

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