Rare ‘corpse flower’ famous for its size and smell draws hundreds to NC State

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A rare plant, famous for its size and smell, is drawing hundreds to NC State University this week.

Thursday, the plant known as the “corpse flower” bloomed. 

The plant’s owner, Brandon Huber, told CBS 17 the plant typically blooms at sunset, and they believe the Thursday’s storms triggered the flower to bloom when it got darker outside. 

NC State officials said the flower is known for having a stench that’s comparable to rotting flesh, and it’s one of the largest flowering structures in the plant kingdom

People who came out Thursday to see the flower bloom said the plant is bringing a lot of attention to campus. 

“It’s something that doesn’t happen every year,” Cary resident Michael Peeler said. “Just seeing in the short amount of time how much it’s starting to change, that’s very interesting to me.”

The flower at NC State is six feet tall, and 16 years old. 

Huber said it took 13 years before the flower’s first bloom, and another three years before it bloomed again for a second time Thursday. 

“It’s clearly not something you can see in your next-door neighbor’s yard,” Esther Belikoff said. 

Belikoff, who works at NC State, believes it’s important to see rare, natural occurences like this. 

“There’s so many of them, whether it’s a full eclipse that is geographically so far away that we can’t get there, this is in our backyard,” she said. 

Huber told CBS 17 he’s happy to see his flower, and others’ curiosities, bloom together. 

“There’s such a diversity of plants, and this is just one example of how unusual plants can really be,” he said. “Being in horticulture, it’s easy for me to appreciate this. But, it’s really special to see people from all over traveling far, coming in from all walks of life to see this plant.” 

Meanwhile, Belikoff believes the plant will add more to the Pack. 

“If this draws people to NC State, perhaps who have never visited here before for example, that’s a great thing,” she said. 

If you missed it Thursday, you can come out and see the flower Friday through Sunday. Huber said Friday is prime viewing for the flower as it will be more open. 

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