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Giant 'corpse plant' draws crowds in Southern California

The rare Amorphophallus titanum, better known as the corpse plant, bloomed at the San Diego Botanic Gardens in Encinitas, Calif., on Nov. 1, 2021. (Jarrod Valliere / The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)
People get a look at the rare Amorphophallus titanum, better known as the corpse plant, at the San Diego Botanic Gardens in Encinitas, Calif., on Nov. 1, 2021. (Jarrod Valliere/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)

ENCINITAS, Calif. (AP) -- The bloom of a giant and stinky Sumatran flower nicknamed the "corpse plant" because it smells like a dead body is drawing huge crowds to a Southern California botanical garden.

    The bloom of the Amorphophallus titanum plant began Sunday afternoon at the San Diego Botanic Gardens in Encinitas. By Monday morning, timed-entry tickets had sold out, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

    More than 5,000 people were expected to visit the garden by Tuesday evening.

    The bloom of the "corpse plant" lasts just 48 hours and during its peak it emits a putrid odor of rotting flesh to attract carrion beetles and flesh flies that help its pollination process.

    The blooming flower's "rotting corpse smell that was so thick and heavy you could cut it with a knife," said John Connors, horticulture manager for the San Diego Botanic Gardens.

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