The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is inviting guests with adventurous senses of smell to visit one of its most unusual residents: a corpse flower that is about to bloom.
The zoo said in a Facebook post that the corpse flower, known scientifically as Amorphophallus titanum, is showing signs that it will soon bloom and begin to emit the scent that earned it the name.
“We’ve all heard how bad the smell is, but it’s just one of those things that you want to experience in order to describe it in your own words,” Cincinnati Zoo horticulturist Jerome Stenger told WXIX-TV. “And the fact that the occurrence is so rare, sometimes just blooming once in a decade, makes everyone want to see it.”
The zoo said the bloom is expected to last for 24 to 36 hours.
The plant was dubbed “Morticia” in a vote by the zoo’s social media followers.
“The odor, color, and temperature, which can rise to 98 degrees, of the flower are meant to attract pollinators that are attracted to dead animals,” Stenger said. “Since the Discovery Forest greenhouse isn’t crawling with dung beetles and flesh flies, we are trying to get our hands on some pollen so we can help Morticia pollinate.”