Rare plants close to blooming at Selby Gardens in Sarasota

The "corpse plant" is native to Indonesia

SARASOTA, Fla. - The plant's scientific name is Amorphophallus titanum, but get one whiff of a bloomed "corpse plant" and you may very quickly understand its English namesake. Once bloomed, the floral display at the base emits an odor similar to that of rotting meat.

Sarasota's Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is home to three such plants, and in a rare turn of events, two of them are blooming this season.

"It's really amazing," said greenhouse manager Angel Lara.

The plants are native to the rain forests of Indonesia, and each individual plant only blooms once every several years.

Why the odor? Lara said it serves to attract pollinating insects.

The enormity of the tallest-blooming corpse plant, named "Seymour," wowed visitors to the gardens Tuesday. Seymour measured 66 inches up from the soil that morning, and staff expect the plant to bloom overnight either Thursday or Friday.

The smaller blooming plant, called "Audrey," is 7 to 10 days behind Seymour.

For more information about Selby Gardens, you can visit their website here .

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