Denver expects tourism boom from big stinky flower

August 19, 2015, 6:46 PM UTC
Tourists look at the blooming Titan Arum plant at the US Botanic Garden in Washington, DC. The 'corpse flower' is attracting scores of visitors to the Denver Botanic Gardens.
Photograph by Paul J. Richards—AFP/Getty Images

It is called the ‘corpse flower’, and it smells of rotting flesh. And the state of Denver is set to enjoy the potential uptick of visitors that could be coming for a whiff of the stinky plant.

The Amorphophallus titanum, also known as the titan arum, has bloomed at the Denver Botanic Gardens. The flower originates from Western Sumatra in Indonesia, and can reach up to 10 feet in height. It also has the reputation of smelling like a soiled diaper.

The gardens are reportedly seeing around 30,000 visitors over the past 10 days, a record number that’s well above normal attendance rates, according to 9 News. The gardens have trumpeted the rarity of such an occasion – it can take up to 20 years for a first bloom and then up to 10 years for a second bloom, according to the Denver Post, and the peak window to see the full bloom is only expected to last for a few days. Visiting hours have been extended, and the gardens is rolling out the red carpet in preparation for the event.

There is even a live streaming YouTube video of the big stinky giant:

Early reports from visitors looking to be overwhelmed by a foul smell of epic proportions, however, have been disappointing. “I was hoping it would smell like rotten fish,” visitor Joni Klieger told the Denver Post. “It wasn’t as horrible as I thought it would be.”