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'Corpse plant' ready to bloom at Cornell

March 14, 2012 at 12:19 PM

ITHACA, N.Y., March 14 (UPI) -- A professor at Cornell University in New York state said the school's "corpse plant" is expected to bloom and release its signature stench later this week.

Karl Niklas, professor of plant biology at the Ithaca school, said the Amorphophallus titanum, commonly referred to as a "corpse plant" or a "corpse flower," will bloom for only a few days and will release a stench many compare to the smell of a rotting corpse during those days, The Ithaca Journal reported Wednesday.

Niklas said the plant, native to the rainforests of Sumatra, was planted in 2002 by Melissa Luckow, associate professor of plant biology, and is on the verge of its first-ever blooming. He said it could be another 30 years before the 57-inch-long plant flowers again.

"This is important because this plant is considered vulnerable in the environment," Luckow said. "I hope this raises awareness of how remarkable these plants are and how important it is to protect our forests."

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