"Corpse Flower" Blooming in Galveston

Rare flower smells like rotting flesh

By Andres Gutierrez
|  Friday, Jun 15, 2012  |  Updated 10:55 PM CDT
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People are flocking to Moody Gardens in Galveston to see the rare corpse flower called Morticia.

Andres Gutierrez, NBC 5 News

People are flocking to Moody Gardens in Galveston to see the rare corpse flower called Morticia.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the country that the flower originates from. Sumatra is an island in Indonesia, not Thailand. NBC 5 regrets the error.

A flower affectionately named Morticia is among the slithering snakes and diving penguins at Moody Gardens in Galveston.

The exotic flower is about to bloom, making her one of the biggest attractions at the garden.

At first glance, you may admire Morticia's beauty. But your nose might notice something else when you get closer.

"It smells like rotting flesh," said Stephanie Chan, Moody Gardens spokeswoman. "It's mainly to attract its pollinators, which are carrion beetles and sweat flies."

And the smell isn't the only thing that makes her stand out.

"When we first got it, it was 7inches," Chan said. "Then it grew 2 inches a day. Now every week, it's growing a [foot] a week."

Morticia is now nearly 5 feet tall.

The unusual flower is indigenous to Sumatra, Indonesia, but it has made its way to Texas. It is so rare that only three of its kind have ever bloomed in the state. Morticia will be the fourth.

"When it blooms, it last two to three days, max," Chan said.

The flower is expected to bloom sometime this weekend.

Moody Gardens is providing a livestream of Morticia on its website.

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