‘Corpse Flower’ Blooms In Denver For The First Time In 13 Years, Crowds Gather To Take A Whiff [Video]

A “corpse flower” has bloomed in Denver, Colorado, for the first time in nearly 13 years, and yes — the rumors about the flower smelling like rotten flesh are true!

The staff members at the Denver Botanic Gardens have been waiting for the flower, one of the largest and smelliest in the world, to bloom since it was donated in 2007.

The Amorphophallus titanium, more commonly known as the “corpse flower,” makes up for its rotten stench with its beautiful and large blooms, which typically stand around eight-feet (2.4 meters) tall. The flower’s bloom generally lasts only about 48 hours, and can take as long as a decade to bloom again. Because of their smell, the “corpse flower” is known to attract carrion beetles and flies, the main pollinators for the plant, which is native to Sumatra, Indonesia.

According to Live Science, the Denver “corpse flower” is the first one to ever bloom in the state, and in the Rocky Mountain region in general. Prior to blooming, the amorphophallus titanuim grows a single large leaf that can grow to be as tall as 20-feet (six meters) high.

“Corpse plants have a three-stage life cycle. First, they send up a single leaf, which then dies off, leaving a tuber dormant underground. After the dormancy phase, the plant can send up another, bigger leaf, or grow a flower.”

“Around the first of June, we realized that it was not a new leaf emerging,” horticulturist Aaron Sedivy said. “It was definitely a flower bud.”

It took nearly two months, but the plant finally started to bloom out on August 19. Sedivy and the rest of the staff monitored the flower daily to detail any changes that might have occurred. On Tuesday, it was apparent that the flower had opened up, however not as much as they normally due. Sedivy credits this to it just being small and young. However, as of August 18, the plant stood five-foot, three-inches tall and had grown significantly since July, when it measured just over a foot.

“We had a growth chart we were comparing it with — just one — and we had a few plants that had near-daily photos of their progression,” Sedivy said.

The KUSA Denver provided a live stream of the plant blooming to YouTube with the tag, “Stinky DBG (Denver Botanic Garden) is officially opening up!” to help accommodate those who wish to see the plant. Although it had already started to close, people were still lined up to get a whiff of the flower as of Thursday morning.

[Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images]