WASHINGTON (AP) - The long wait is finally over for visitors who have been yearning for a whiff of a giant flower that smells oddly like rotting flesh.
The giant rainforest plant known as a corpse flower for its terrible smell began blooming Sunday afternoon at the U.S. Botanic Garden next to the Capitol. Experts had been anticipating its bloom for more than a week and extended the garden's hours for visitors each night.
Garden officials expect the flower to hit "peak smell" early Monday. It'll remain open for an estimated 24 to 48 hours.
The titan arum flower is native to the tropical rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia. It was first discovered in 1878.
Scientists say the flower's odor serves to attract beetles or other insects that are normally drawn to rotting flesh.
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