Swiss flock to watch giant stinking flower bloom

AP News
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Posted: Apr 23, 2011 8:44 AM
Swiss flock to watch giant stinking flower bloom

Thousands of plant lovers have flocked to the northern Swiss city of Basel to see a giant, stinky flower bloom for the first time.

The Basel Botanical Gardens expects 10,000 people to see its amorphophallus titanum, or corpse flower, in full glory before the bloom wilts late Saturday or Sunday. The plant is 17 years old and has never bloomed before.

Visitors haven't been deterred by the strong stench of rotting flesh the flower emits to attract insects for pollination.

The 6.6-feet (2-meter) tall flower is native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra and the last one to bloom in Switzerland was 75 years ago.

Worldwide, there have been only 134 recorded blooms from artificial cultivation.

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Webcam: http://titanwurz.unibas.ch/webcam.php