DENVER — The smelliest flower on earth was blooming in Denver late Tuesday night. It is called a corpse flower because it is said to resemble the smell of rotting meat.
The rare flower, officially named titan arum, was blooming at the Denver Botanic Gardens. It does not smell until it blooms.
“The compounds are similar to those found in rotting fish, in smelly feet and stinky cheese,” tropical horticulturist Aaron Sidivy said.
DBG has named this bud “Stinky.” It has been growing in Denver for eight years, but is thought to be about twice as old. This will be the first time Stinky will bloom and will be the first titan arum to bloom in the Rocky Mountain region.
Aside from the exotic smell, the corpse flower is also the largest inflorescence, or single stalk of flowers, on Earth.
As of Saturday afternoon, Stinky was 5-foot-1. Some can grown closer to 10 feet.
About 700 to 800 individual flowers are wrapped up underneath Stinky’s outer layer. When that outer layer opens, that is when the stench releases. The plant is native to Sumatra and the smell helps attract certain beetles and bugs to pollinate it.
Once Stinky blooms, visitors will have 12 to 48 hours to view and smell the flower before it wilts. Experts do not expect another titan arum to bloom in Denver for three to five years.