MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT)–The titan arum is known as the “corpse flower.” It was planted at Kansas State University in 2001 and has finally bloomed, but unlike most flowers it doesn’t smell good.
“You walk in, you don’t notice it until you get a little bit closer, and then I couldn’t stop gagging,” visitor Kayla Simon said.
Allie Dillon was another visitor to the flower and said it smelt like death.
Chris Nelson and Mary Nueson said when they put their nose to the flower it smelled terrible, but agreed it is still an amazing plant nonetheless.
However, corpse flowers are intended to have this stench to them. Chad Miller is an assistant professor of horticulture at K-State and said the smell of the flower is by design. The smell attracts pollinators that feed off the flower like it is a dead animal.
Even though the corpse flower is smelly, it didn’t stop people from wanting to visit. Dozens of people from all over the state lined up to take pictures and smell the flower themselves.
“They have been watering this for 15 years and they just now got a flower so I was like yeah I can’t afford to miss that, that’s really cool,” Gahrig Geissinger said after visiting the flower.
Miller is in charge of the flower and when he got a text that the flower was starting to bloom, he came home early from vacation to see it.
“Not knowing how big it would actually get, I was like wow I might need, want to go back to see this because this is a pretty rare sort of event,” Miller said.
The smell won’t last forever as it only stays bloomed anywhere from 24 to 72 hours. The flower is not expected to bloom again from another two to five years, possibly even longer.