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Originally published Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Stinky corpse flower in bloom at Volunteer Park

A giant corpse flower, known for its size and putrid smell, is in bloom at the Volunteer Park Conservatory on Capitol Hill and can be seen 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Once again, the University of Washington's botany greenhouse has loaned "Waldo," one of its rare giant-corpse plants, to the Seattle parks department's Volunteer Park Conservatory on Capitol Hill, and the plant, known for its putrid smell, is in bloom.

The gargantuan plant, whose Latin name is Amorphophallus titanium, has grown to a height of more than 4 feet. Whenever the plant, native to Sumatra, has bloomed at the UW greenhouse, it has attracted large crowds of visitors because of its size and pungent smell.

The skirtlike maroon- and green-spathed blossom of the plant, more commonly known as a corpse flower, doesn't last long. Its stench has been compared to the odor of rotting flesh. Still, a blossoming plant becomes a celebrated event.

You can view and sniff it at the conservatory, at the north end of Volunteer Park, off 15th Avenue East, daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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