NSU expects “Mr. Stinky” to bloom this week after eight year wait

The rare, tropical plant will unleash a giant purple flower with a putrid odor similar to rotten meat
Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 6:46 PM EDT
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NATCHITOCHES, La. (KALB) - What’s several feet tall, eight years old, and smells like rotting meat? If you guessed Mr. Stinky then you’d be right. Mr. Stinky is Northwestern State University’s amorphophallus titanium, also known as a corpse flower. It’s expected to bloom this week after an eight-year-long wait.

In 2012 several faculty members from the biology department got together to buy what was then a plant about the size of a half-dollar. The plant has since gotten so big it’s had to be moved outside. Mr. Stinky has been growing several inches every day over the last week, and lots of people around campus are anxiously awaiting to see and smell its infamous bloom that’s said to smell like limburger cheese, sweaty socks, or rotting flesh.

The corpse flower at NSU started out as a half-dollar sized plant in 2012. It's since grown to...
The corpse flower at NSU started out as a half-dollar sized plant in 2012. It's since grown to several feet tall.(KALB)

“I’ve been a plant nut pretty much my whole life. I like exotic, unusual plants and this filled the bill whenever we decided to buy this again eight years ago,” says Millard Mangrum, assistant professor of biology. “When it does open, I hope to have a number of people come and see because it’s a very rare plant as far as the area is concerned. I’m not sure there’s another one in Louisiana quite frankly,” he adds.

Corpse flowers are a rare, tropical flower native to Sumatra, Indonesia - so Mr. Stinky loves Louisiana’s warm and humid climate. When the plant blooms it will have an enormous smelly, purple flower for up to two days. After that, the plant will either die or bloom again in another eight to ten years. The corpse flower is believed to be the largest flower on Earth.

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