No better way to spend the weekend than sniffing a flower that smells like rotting flesh.
Visitors to Moody Gardens in Galveston Island, Texas, can do just that as Morticia, a giant corpse flower, goes into full bloom.
Morticia is an Amorphophallus titanum — the world’s largest flowering plant, native to Indonesia — which gives off a very unpleasant odor. It often grows to a height of more than 10 feet tall, and its rotten smell is most pronounced at dusk. (Fun fact: The plant’s Latin name translates to “huge deformed penis!”)
And people will flock to it. Moody Gardens is holding special viewing hours through 8 p.m. local time Sunday for folks to enjoy Morticia’s unique aroma.
“I am just in awe. She certainly is prettier than any other plant I’ve ever seen,” said Donita Brannon, Moody Gardens’ horticulture exhibit manager.
So why does this plant stink?
The plant’s rotting flesh smell helps it lure carrion beetles and sweat flies (up to an acre away) that are attracted to the smell of decomposition. The insects bring pollen from other plants they’ve visited, thereby pollinating the corpse flower plant.
The corpse flower at the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory bloomed in July 2013. It had lived at the garden since 2007.