A corpse flower in its death throes doesn't smell like a corpse at all.
A titan arum (or "corpse flower") housed at the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory has been smelling up its exhibition hall to the delight of thousands of visitors since the tropical flower finally went into full bloom on Sunday (July 21), but its time in bloom is quickly coming to a close.
A corpse flower's rare malodorous bloom only lasts for 24 to 48 hours, after which time it closes up and collapses.
"We've already reached that stage where the plant is showing signs of beginning to pack it in," Ari Novy, a plant scientist and public programs manager at the U.S. Botanic Garden, said. "Over the course of the next several days, the whole plant will essentially fall apart." (In Images: A Corpse Flower Blooms)
'Really, really unpleasant' Although the line to get in to see the blooming corpse flower stretched around the block when the building opened at 10 a.m. EDT, the corpse flower did not live up to its smelly moniker.
Instead of the rotting flesh odor that is typical of a blooming corpse flower, visitors were greeted with the smells emitted by other fans of the stinky plant. Body odor and perfume were the prevailing aromas dominating the corpse flower's hall today (July 23).