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TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. -- For the past two days, people have been lining up at Cornell University's greenhouse to get a look at a true natural phenomenon.
Titan arum, better known as the Corpse Flower, only blooms once every eight to ten years. The rare plant is indigenous to Indonesia, but Cornell's flower was grown from seed. It now stands at five feet tall, and at full bloom on Sunday, was 44 inches across.
It's named the Corpse Flower because of the smell it gives off, similar to rotting flesh. But despite the foul odor, students say it was one of the most amazing sights they've ever seen.
“As botanists, these charismatic plants are the reason why a lot of us got started in botany in the first place. So to be able to see this is like your child-self is finally been satisfied after seeing all these things only in books,” said Gwynne Lim, Plant Biology grad student.
Unfortunately, the flower only blooms for about 48 hours, so it's on its way out now. Cornell's public viewing of the flower ended Monday.