What's that smell? Stinky corpse flower in bloom at Muttart Conservatory
Published Monday, April 22, 2013 11:02AM MDT Last Updated Tuesday, April 23, 2013 11:52AM MDT
Something stinks in Edmonton and the city wants you to go take a big whiff.
Putrella the rare and endangered corpse flower is blooming at the Muttart Conservatory.
The flower is the world’s stinkiest, and emits a putrid smell described as rotting meat, when in bloom.
Putrella bloomed Sunday night and the Muttart has extended its Monday hours so Edmontonians to check out the “stunning and incredibly stinky” flower.
"It's a rare plant. It's the only one in western Canada right now," said Nicole Fraser, education program manager with the Muttart.
"It smells like rotting corpses. It's common name is corpse plant." The city says viewing Putrella in bloom is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - no corpse flower has bloomed in western Canada until this point.
The 275-pound, 8’0” (or 243 cm-tall) flower, whose scientific name is Amorphophalus titanium, arrived at the Muttart last August and has been growing ever since.
"Some people have compared it to dirty diapers, some have compared it to when you find a dead animal on the road. It does have a strong stench although throughout the day it doesn't smell as bad as it did last night," Fraser said.
Putrella proved so popular Monday that overflow parking had to be created to handle crowds coming in to see and smell the flower.
"There's a lot of people coming down to see this plant," Fraser said.
The city said Edmontonians can also view Putrella in bloom Tuesday, but Monday is when she will be "at her loveliest."
The Muttart tells CTV News 3,400 visitors came through the conservatory Monday to see Putrella.
In comparison, when the Muttart holds small events, a crowd of 500 is typically average.
Putrella emits the stinky smell to attract pollinators like carrion beetles.
The flower will bloom for 24-36 hours before it begins to wilt.
"The modified leaf underneath will wither up and curl around the plant and then it will become dormant," Fraser said.
"It won't actually die but it will absorb those parts and the energy in those parts and save it for a future bloom, it will go back into its life cycle."