By Ross Guidotti

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Phipps Conservatory has so many wonderful smelling plants, but the Corpse Flower is not one of them.

“It’s Wednesday, there’s nothing on TV, figured I’d come watch the big stinky flower bloom,” said Cherie Cornmesser, of Pittsburgh.

“You go outside, you smell these sweet, beautiful blooms, and then all of the sudden you come in here and it’s like death on a hot day,” Rebecca Whitaker, of Pittsburgh, said.

So, what’s the story behind this floral so foul in fragrance?

“This is Amorphophallus titanium, Titan Arum, or Corpse Flower,” says Phipps Conservatory horticulturalist Laura Schoch.

How apropos for this pungent posy, named Romero, that’s polluting the air, all in the name of plant procreation.

“It attracts the insects and beetles,” says Schoch. “There’s flies that love this smell, and they would come and pollinate this plant.”

Hundreds chose to visit the Corpse Flower Wednesday evening as it began to bloom, mugging for the camera even as they gagged and held their noses, desperate for fresh air.

“Really gross. It smells like my cat’s breath,” said Luke Chinman, of Pittsburgh.

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And the event doesn’t last very long. So , if you want to see it, don’t waste any time. For more information on how to visit Romero, check out Phipps Conservatory’s website at this link.

“About 12 to 24 hours, it will put out this stench… and then it will start to collapse and then it goes dormant after that. It’ll be on display for like another week though,” Schoch said.

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