Thousands expected at UNC Charlotte for rare blooming of flower that smells like corpse

Corpse flower "Rotney" to bloom at UNCC

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The smell of a decomposing corpse isn't particularly appealing, so why are so many people excited to take in something that smells so similar?

The Titan Arum, or "Corpse Flower," is a rare Sumatran and Indonesian plant that doesn't bloom very often. The McMillan Greenhouse at UNC Charlotte is home to 3 of the rare breed of plant. One in particular, "Rotney the Magnifiscent" is 13 years old and has never bloomed before until now.

Jeff Gillman, director of the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens, says Rotney is expected to bloom in the next few days.

"You'll smell it outside in the streets around us. For a hundred yards you'll smell it," Gillman said.

The most intense smell will only last for about 12 hours once the flower finally opens its leaves. Visitors can only catch a glimpse of the bloom for about a day after it first opens.

The McMillan Greenhouse is expected thousands of people a day to come by for a rare glimpse of the blooming Titan Arum. And a rare whiff of something that literally makes their eyes water.

"Standing next to it is painful," Gillman said.

For more information follow the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens Facebook page here.

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