Corpse flower in bloom at Southeast Missouri State University

Corpse flower in bloom at Southeast Missouri State University
The flower naturally grows around the Vietnam area, in Asia they are used as a food source and for all kinds of purposes and a health supplement. (Source: KFVS)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - A rose called by any other name would smell just as sweet, but not this flower. The corpse flower smells just like it sounds, like rotting flesh.

In the Charles Hutson Greenhouse at Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO), a corpse flower is in bloom. These flowers, while stinky, are one of the world’s largest and rarest flowers.

“Well, it’s a very unique flower as you can see, very unworldly like out of Star Trek, and the most unique feature of course is the smell. It emits the odor for pollination purposes,” stated Melissa LaPlant, Charles Hutson Greenhouse manager.

Dung beetles, flesh flies and other carnivorous insects are attracted to the smell.

2018 the flower bloomed almost 5 feet tall. It goes through a cycle, so now it’s growing, so in a few years it will be bigger.

While this particular plant flowers once a year, other corpse flower species flower once every ten years.

The university has 30 different species of this flower, which makes it one the the largest collections in the state.

It is still being researched, but it is understood that this type of flower can be grown in the area.

The flower naturally grows around the Vietnam area, in Asia they are used as a food source and for all kinds of purposes and a health supplement.

Copyright 2021 KFVS. All rights reserved.