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'Corpse flower' blooms in Basel

Sun, 24 Apr 2011 17:00:48 GMT
A 17-year-old giant stinky flower in Basel has bloomed for the first time, attracting thousands of people to the northern Swiss city to observe the rare phenomenon.

The amorphophallus titanium -- known as “corpse flower” because of its rotten flesh-like odor -- is the first to bloom in Switzerland in 75 years, reported the state-run BBC.

The Basel Botanical Gardens expects 10,000 people to visit the 2m (6.6ft) plant before it wilts late Saturday or Sunday.

Worldwide, there have been only 134 reports of the blossoming of the plant through artificial cultivation. In 2005, the tallest blossom, some 2.94 m (9 ft. 6 in.) high, was recorded at the botanical and zoological garden Wilhelma in Stuttgart, Germany.

The flower, which first poked out of the soil in March, had been growing at about six centimeters a day.

Its mother plant last bloomed in the Frankfurt Palm Garden in 1992.

Originally native to the tropical rainforests of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, the plant requires a humid climate to grow and rarely blossoms, even in the wild.

NN/PKH

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