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A corpse flower blooming is an event meant to be seen -- and smelled. | Corbis Images
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Corpse Flower and Other Late Bloomers: Photos

Plants like the corpse flower, now on display at the U.S. Botanic Gardens, aren't show-offs, only blooming on rare occasions.

July 12, 2013
5:30 AM EDT
Rafflesia arnoldii | Taylor Lockwood/Corbis
Because of its extremely short flowering period, the Kadupul flower is considered among the most valuable on Earth. | Corbis Images
The shrubs that produce these bright purple bells grow at an altitude of between 6,000 and 7,000 feet. | Flickr/harisankar
Agave franzosinii | Getty Images
Agave americana | Corbis Images
As a species, the Queen of the Andes reign may not last much longer; the plant is currently listed as endangered. | Corbis Images
Talipot palms can grow to be more than 80 feet tall. | Flickr/wlcutler
Bamboo flower blooms can lead to a bloom in local rodent populations, so maybe it's not such a bad thing they're rare events after all. | Corbis Images
Given that Youtan Poluo needs 3,000 years of growth to bloom, according to legend, its flowers sure are tiny. | Flickr/zensquared