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Dutch university's rare 'penis plant' blooms

Oct. 29 (UPI) -- A rare flower nicknamed the "penis plant" bloomed at a Netherlands university's botanical garden, a rare occurrence in Europe.

The University of Leiden said the penis plant, known scientifically as Amorphophallus decus-silvae, blooms only once every two decades, and the university's botanical garden hasn't had one of the plants bloom since 1997.

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The flower is known as a "penis plant" due to the phallic shape of its bloom.

The school said it is rare for the Indonesia-native plants to bloom in Europe due to the vastly different climate and weather conditions.

The plant that bloomed this month is 6 years old, and researchers noticed it was budding in mid-September. The university made arrangements to allow the public to see the blooming flower and experience its famously foul odor, which often is compared to rotting flesh.

The Amorphophallus decus-silvae is a smaller cousin of the Amorphophallus titanum, more commonly known as a "corpse flower."

A corpse flower went on display in May of this year at an abandoned gas station in Alameda, Calif. Gardener Solomon Leyva grew the plant and brought it to the closed gas station so the public could view it.

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