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Corpse flower blooms in D.C., attracts thousands

Posted By VERONICA LINARES, UPI.com   |   July 23, 2013 at 1:24 PM  |  Updated July 23, 2013 at 4:11 PM   |   Comments

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July 23 (UPI) -- Around 20,000 people attended the U.S. Botanical Garden in Washington D.C. Monday to witness the rare bloom of the corpse flower.

Originally found in the tropical rain forests of Sumatra, Indonesia, the titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum) takes years to bloom, but only remains open for 24 to 48 hours. During this time, the flower's powerful odor attracts beetles and other insects for pollination.

While the U.S. Botanical Garden has 14 corpse flowers, this is the first to bloom since 2007. Botanists and aficionados had been anticipating the flower's blooming for a week until it finally did on Sunday evening.

Because the flower doesn't have a set blooming cycle, it could be decades before it blooms again.

For those who cant travel to Washington to witness the rare event, you can watch the Botanical Garden's live stream of the plant below.

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