CLEVELAND — Let the stink begin!
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo says that their giant titan arum plant, better known as the corpse flower, has started the blooming process. The zoo says the bloom began at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon.
The bloom lasts for roughly 24 to 48 hours. And when it's in bloom mode for that period, the corpse flower stinks. The distinctive scent, which has been compared to everything from sweaty socks to human waste, attracts pollinating insects that normally go towards rotting corpses, such as carrion beetles and flesh flies.
Zoo officials say the corpse flower can grow up to 10 feet tall, making it one of the largest flowering plants in the world. The corpse flower has bloomed just four other times over the last 28 years, the last time in 2019.
Want to see (and smell) this phenomenon? The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo will open early at 9 a.m. on Thursday and Friday morning. And if you are taking in the Asian Lantern Festival on Thursday night, you can check out the bloom in the dark. The flower will start closing on Thursday evening, a process that will take approximately 12-18 hours to complete.
Or if you'd rather just appreciate the beauty of the bloom without the smell, the zoo has set up a livestream that you can watch below:
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