COLUMBUS, Ohio — Spring is in the air, and that means an unpleasant smell for one greenhouse at Ohio State University.
An 8-foot-tall rain forest plant that's known as a "corpse flower" because it smells like rotting flesh is getting ready to bloom.
The Columbus Dispatch reports greenhouse coordinator Joan Leonard has been growing the flowers since 2001, and this would be the first of five to bloom.
Leonard says smelling the Amorphophallus titanium for the first time will be the culmination of a decade of work. But it will be a quick experience because the flower withers after a day or two.
She expects the bloom to open in May, revealing its umbrella-sized "petals." When that happens, the university will have visiting hours to give people a peek at the rare plant.
My wifes grandmother had one of these that she kept in a spare bedroom. It does smell like rotting flesh when it blooms and it is pollinated by flies and other insects attracted to carrion. After her husband died she gave it to a botanical garden in Chicago. I had never seen one before or since. Fortunately it did not bloom every year.