July 14, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) - A giant rainforest plant known as a corpse flower for its terrible smell is set to bloom at the U.S. Botanic Garden next to the Capitol in Washington.
Garden officials say the titan arum flower could bloom late Sunday or Monday. So the garden is extending its hours both days from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. to give visitors the chance to see the flower in full bloom - and to smell its scent of rotting flesh.
Scientists say the strange odor serves to attract beetles to pollinate the flower.
This plant is about 10 years old, and this is its first flower. It will only last 24 to 48 hours. The last corpse flower to bloom at the Botanic Garden was in 2007. They bloom on irregular schedules.