'Corpse flower' exudes pungent aroma at Fullerton Arboretum

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There's a powerful stench in the air at the Fullerton Arboretum, where a flower, aptly known as the "corpse flower," is giving off quite a pungent aroma. (KABC)

There's a powerful stench in the air at the Fullerton Arboretum, where a flower, aptly known as the "corpse flower," is giving off quite a pungent aroma.

Dozens of Southlanders who visited the center on Tuesday definitely noticed the unique scent. Some likened the smell to that of rotting flesh, rotten fish or even road kill that's been sitting out in the sun.

The flower only blooms once every five or six years - sometimes once each decade.

"It will actually warm up to sort of shoot the scent into the air," described Gregory J. Pongetti with the Fullerton Arboretum.

The plant doesn't do this to offend. The smell actually attracts carrion beetles, which will pollinate its flowers.

The flower, which hails from Indonesia, will only open for about a day or so, after which, folks can breathe easy again.

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sciencenatureFullertonOrange County
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