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University of Missouri's "corpse flower" bloomed

Monday, June 8, 2009 | 5:09 p.m. CDT; updated 9:19 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, June 9, 2009

ST. LOUIS — A rare, smelly "corpse flower" at the MU Campus in St. Louis drew hundreds of visitors and thousands of Web cam spectators.

Greenhouse manager Kathy Upton said Monday that the nearly 5-foot tall plant bloomed from Saturday afternoon until midday Sunday. She described the smell as similar to that of a dead animal on the side of the road. The smelly plant gives off a distinctive odor to attract insects that pollinate.

Upton said a different "corpse flower" bloomed at the greenhouse in 2001. The plant that bloomed this weekend hadn't done so in 14 years. She said there's no way to predict when it will bloom again.


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