The unique part of the plant is its smell along with its rarity for blooming. People didn’t mince words when describing the experience.
“I smelled kind of a sewagey, garbagey smell,” said a young boy named Wade who came to see the flower with his family. “Maybe a little bit of like fly’s butt smell.”
“It smells like four- or five-day old ground meat that you haven’t cooked yet,” said Angela Howard, a woman who came to see the flower with another woman named Kim Custer.
“Smelled like a dead body to me,” said Blake Harris, a man who came to see the flower with his wife Isla.
Despite those descriptions, the line was long enough to reach far beyond the Myriad Botanical Gardens.
Everyone was waiting to see, and take pictures of, the flower whose name is labeled for obvious reasons.
“It smells so bad,” one woman said as she took pictures of the flower.
“It smells like something has died, and it’s rotting,” said Nate Tschaenn, director of horticulture at the Myriad Botanical Gardens.
Tschaenn said one of the largest flowers in the world, native to an Indonesian Island isn’t smelly for no reason though.
“It does that because it’s trying to attract pollinators that lay their eggs in dead things,” he said. “So, it’ll attract things like flies and carrion beetles that go in there thinking that they’re going to lay their eggs and they actually end up pollinating the plant.”
Tschaenn got the flower as a seedling from The Ohio State University. He has had it for almost 9 years, and this is the first time it’s bloomed.
“They take between seven and ten years to bloom from a seed and either produces a flower or produces a really large leaf,” Tschaenn said.
With it being that rare, it isn’t the smell that was necessarily attracting everyone to it. As everyone waited for quite some time to take the plant as a whole in.
“It was really cool it was like; this thing is like taller than me,” Wade said.
“It’s pretty cool,” Harris said. “It’s one of those things that doesn’t happen very often so it’s good to come out and check it out.”
“I expected it to be a bit crazy, but, even this exceeded my expectations,” Tschaenn said.
Tschaenn said the bloom only lasts for about one day and the smell lasts for about one day and a half.