NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Visitors to the Bronx Botanical Garden are patiently waiting to smell one of the world’s largest flowers when it blooms.

As CBS2’s Jill Nicolini reported, it isn’t a smell most would want to endure for a long period of time, especially in the heat.

It’s the first time the NY Botanical Garden has flowered an amorphophallus titanum — known as the corpse flower — since 1939.

“When that flower does finally open it will release its famous fragrance which does smell like rotting meat, rotting fish. It’s really quite sharps on the nose, in hopes of attracting a pollinator which are actually flies or beetles,” Nolan Greenhouses director, Marc Hachadourian said.

For the past 10 years the New York Botanical Garden has been nurturing about a dozen seedlings in hopes one would produce a bloom. Since Friday, the “corpse flower” has grown significantly and visitors are coming out to the almost 100 degree conservatory to get a glimpse and a whiff of the rarity.

“Right now it’s a 90 degree day. In a greenhouse it’s pretty brutal. It might smell extra, extra bad,” Matt McKenna said.

Hachadourian said the native Indonesian flower will be opening during the middle of the night.

“Not only smells like rotting meat. It looks like rotting meat. The flower will have this frill, burnt coloration of the flower is what gives it that very dry blood, that deep dark velvet maroon color,” he said.

The Cortes family came from Pennsylvania to get a whiff.

“We brought a barf bag just in case it was too bad,” their son said.

As the countdown continues to the bloom, the flower will only be open for 24 to 36 hours before it goes dormant.

“As the flower collapses we are going to try to pollinate the bloom in hopes to get some seed to ensure future generations of plants,” Hachadourian said.

The botanical garden is predicting that the corpse flower may bloom within the next 48 hours, and then release its pungent odor.

 

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