PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Washington State University’s corpse flower is officially blooming.
The rare flower is one of four being cultivated at WSU Vancouver. People can go see the plant at the school’s greenhouse, located at the east end of the Science and Engineering Building from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Admission and parking are free.
The corpse flower’s name comes from the pungent scent it gives off when it blooms. Experts say the flower smells like rotting flesh or a decomposing animal and it can be smelled from up to 50 yards away.
The odor is meant to attract pollinators to help ensure the continuation of the species. Dung beetles, flesh flies and other carnivorous insects that typically eat dead flesh or lay their eggs in rotting meat are attracted to the flower, WSU said.
The corpse flower started blooming in June and officials say it has been growing two inches every day leading up to its blooming.
Once it blooms, the flower will last only 24 to 48 hours.
This is the second time this corpse flower, named Titan VanCoug, has bloomed. The last time was in 2019, 17 years after it was planted in 2002.
Corpse flowers are among the largest and rarest flowers in the world. They typically bloom about once every four years after their first bloom and can live up to 40 years.