‘Stinky’ the foul-smelling corpse flower brings interesting odor descriptions from visitors


Corpse flower at Denver Botanic Gardens stinks

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DENVER -- Shakespeare wrote, "A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet."  But what if it isn’t a rose.  What if it’s a flower that folks call a stinky corpse.  Would that smell just as sweet?

“Ooohh, that is terrible!  It’s awful, it smells like shoes and feet and death and everything all at once.”  That Denver Botanic Garden visitor can be describing only one thing, the corpse flower.

The official name of the foul smelling plant is Amorphophallus Titanum and it’s been a member of the Denver Botanic Garden’s plant family for eight years.

The plant itself is fifteen years old. The corpse flower is native to Sumatra Indonesia and will, in fact, emit a rather rancid stench for a couple of days during its bloom, all to attract the small carrion beetle, it’s primary pollinator.

“Either smells like a rotting plant in the rain forest or my mother-in-law's cooking.  Rotting plants smell better," said one crack-wising visitor.

That smell is also attracting record crowds to the Denver Botanic Gardens.

Over 10,000 before the day is over Wednesday.

So, how does it smell again?  “Sour milk, a dirty diaper, and an old fish aquarium. Just kind of yucky smelling,”  Another visitor said.

It could take another ten years before Stinky the corpse flower blooms and emits it’s beetle attracting stank, so come on down and take a whiff on the wild side. But hurry.

Denver Botanic Gardens is open until midnight Wednesday and 6 a.m. to midnight Thursday.

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