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Corpse flower blooms at Pittsburgh conservatory

Aug. 21, 2013 at 7:26 PM

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Officials at a Pittsburgh conservatory said a corpse flower, a large plant known for releasing a powerful stench, has bloomed after three years of care.

Ben Dunigan, the curator of horticulture at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden, said the plant -- known scientifically as Amorphophallus titanum and colloquially as the titan arum or corpse flower -- began blooming and releasing its signature scent Tuesday night, three years after he and his team began caring for the plant, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Wednesday. The blossom only last for about four days.

"I'm the person [to whom] every day people say, 'Is it tonight? When is it going to be?' I'm just like the father in the waiting room," Dunigan said.

The hundreds of visitors who viewed the unusual plant during the past few days described the scent variously as "roadkill," "sauerkraut" and "dirty diapers."

Corpse flowers, native to Indonesia, generally bloom only once every 10 years, scientists say.

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