SEATTLE - After nearly three years, the bloom of a rare flower at the University of Washington finally came up, but it didn't smell like roses.
The UW Biology department says its so-called corpse flower opened after midnight and unleashed its stink of rotting flesh on the hundreds waiting. It is about 55 inches tall and started as a seed more than 15 years ago.
The Indonesian flower attracts pollinating insects by smelling like carrion when it blooms. The department says on its Facebook page that about 550 people visited its botany greenhouse Wednesday night in waves of nausea.
UW botanists said the odor from the flower is strongest the first night in bloom, but can linger for days, smelling something closer to "latrines, gym bags, or overcooked cabbage."
Greenhouse manager Doug Ewing and his associates coaxed the flower into bloom after nearly three years of dormancy.
The UW greenhouse is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is located next to Kincaid Hall on Stevens Way. There is no parking at the greenhouse.