A nauseating flower known for its overpowering stink has bloomed in southern Australia for the first time in 10 years. Thousands of visitors have flocked to catch a glimpse of the Amorphophallus Titanium, more commonly known as the "corpse flower".
The flower, which grows up to three metres tall, is popular for its stink, often likened to rotting flesh or a dead animal. The Mount Lofty Botanic Garden, located near Adelaide, is hosting the endangered flower, whose bloom lasts only for 48 hours.
Gardeners have announced that they are extending their opening time by two hours to 6pm so as to accommodate more visitors. "Flowering events are rare because the plant is so difficult to cultivate, even in optimum conditions," said the garden's curator, Matt Coulter.
"The fact the flower and its signature stench will only last around 48 hours before it collapses on itself makes it a must-see event for plant lovers and curious souls alike."
At least 10,000 people have thronged the garden, which raised the Sumatra-native flower from seed, within the first two hours of the announcement. The garden sourced the seed in 2006 through donation and this is the first time a flower has bloomed in the plant.
"When I opened the door this morning it almost knocked me over, it was so strong. It's fantastic. I didn't think it would ever flower," said Coulter, who has been tending the plant for nearly eight years. The plant grew nearly 20cms a day leading up to the bloom.
The endangered rainforest plant is so rare that it is estimated that only 80 specimens have flowered in the last three decades throughout the world. The foul smell is usually to attract pollinators in forests so as to enable fertilisation of the plant.
"I think it's spectacular to be able to see it here in Adelaide and to see what the flower looks like as well. I thought it was going to smell more than what it does but the impression of the actual flower is beautiful. It looks like purple velvet," a visitor Ros Brady, told Australia's ABC News.