With a name like ‘corpse flower’ it should probably come as little surprise that the plant – which is currently blooming at Adelaide’s Botanic Gardens – doesn’t exactly have a pleasant, floral scent.

The corpse flower actually acquired its name because of the pungent scent it emits when it blooms. “It’s called a corpse flower because it actually smells like a dead, rotting animal,” horticultural curator Matt Coulter told 9News.

Despite its stinky smell, the corpse flower is very unusual visually. It can grow up to 12 feet in height and its leaves can be as big as 13 feet wild. The blooming of a corpse flower is a rare event which only takes place every ten years.

The flower at Adelaide’s Botanic Gardens began opening at 2pm yesterday, and had fully opened by 5pm and began to emit its strong smell. It is only expected to stay open for 24 to 48 hours before it starts to wilt.

“What this flower is this time around is actually a 10-year-old plant that we produced from a leaf cutting,” Horticulturalist John Sandham said of the rare flower in Australia.

“It was amazing to be able to show the public what an amazing plant this is,” Coutler told ABC News of the corpse flower.

He added, “Some people commented last night it doesn’t look real, it looks man-made, it’s just so incredible.

“Other than the smell it is actually an incredibly beautiful plant.”

“It has this real dead rat sort of smell, but also [smells like] fermentation, rotten cheese. A lot of people think it smells like dead fish, it has real complex aromas — it’s very fascinating,” he said.

Coutler recommended that any one in Adelaide who wanted to see or smell the Corpse Flower should come to the Botanic Gardens today.

“If people want to smell it today is the day to come, by tomorrow the smell would have actually stopped, it only smells for two days.

“Tomorrow it’ll still be looking okay, but it’s on its decline, so basically it’s a 24-to-48-hour period that it’ll look its best.”

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