Amorphophallus titanum, also knwon as "corpse flower" blooms in New York Botanical Garden. (Xinhua Photo/Li Changxiang)
NEW YORK, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of visitors flocked to the New York Botanical Garden in recent days for the rare sighting of the blooming of Amorphophallus titanum, also known as "corpse flower," almost 80 years later since such phenomenon happened in the city.
Crowned as the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world, "corpse flower" gets the unpleasant name for the foul odor it emits when blooming.
The putrefying stench was compared to rotten flesh.
"That's to attract flies and other pollinators, so hopefully it could reproduce," said Gianna Braca, an educator of New York Botanical Garden.
The corpse flower is a rare tropical specimen originating from the West Sumatra in Indonesia. It blooms only about once in a decade and then only for 24 to 36 hours.
It was also the first time for this particular plant to blossom since the Botanical Garden acquired it in 2007. The previous specimen that produced a flower in the garden was in 1939.
The rare event had hyped up interest all across the city and beyond. A live video feed was setup at the Haupt Conservatory of the Garden, where the flower was on display. More than 40,000 viewers had tuned in at its peak - for the almost static video footage.
Outside the Conservatory, people were also lining up in the scorching summer weather, to catch a glimpse of the reeking spectacle before it's gone. The Garden had also extended its summer hours from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. to accommodate all those curious visitors.
"This is a very special event because it is the first corpse flower that has bloomed here in 80 years," said Braca.
Most of the visitors weren't bothered by the smell while enjoying the rare occasion.
"It doesn't smell that bad," said Michael Parada, adding it was well worth waiting in line for a long time.