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Smelly plant to bloom at Ohio State

COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 17 (UPI) -- A plant described by one botanist as smelling like "several-days-old bloated roadkill" is getting ready to bloom at Ohio State University.

The 8-foot-tall rainforest plant's blossoms are commonly known as "corpse flowers."

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"It's awful. (The smell) reaches out into the parking lot. It can be overwhelming," Debroah Wiley, a greenhouse curator at Virginia Tech University told The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio on Saturday.

Ohio State's Joan Leonard, who coordinates the university greenhouse has been growing corpse flowers since 2001, but this is the first to bloom.

"This is 10 years' worth of work. It takes a lot of patience and care," Leonard, who has never smelled the blossom, told the paper.

The odor is thought to function as a defense mechanism in the wild. The blossom withers after just a couple of days.

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