Morphy the "Corpse Flower"

A rare plant that will bloom soon — and smell like dirty diapers.

By Jessie Schiewe

Morphy during its last bloom on Sept. 24, 2016. (Photo: Robert Gill,  AP )

Morphy during its last bloom on Sept. 24, 2016. (Photo: Robert Gill, AP)

On a college campus in Hanover, N.H., there is a rare Sumatran rainforest plant that is currently 6-feet tall. By next week, it will grow more than a foot. Officially called an Amorphophallus titanum but colloquially known as a “corpse flower,” it is 15-years-old and lives in a large terra-cotta pot in a greenhouse on Dartmouth College’s campus. According to the Yakima Herald it’s named Morphy.

Right now, it looks like a long, green, and pointy stalk, but that will change in a week when it blooms to reveal a deep fuchsia “skirt” rimmed with yellow flowers. The last time Morphy bloomed was in 2016, and as this type of plant gets older, it blooms more often.

Fortunately, each bloom lasts only a few days. Lovely as it may look, titan arums are some of the stinkiest plants on the planet. People who have experienced its stench report it as smelling not unlike dirty diapers, rotting flesh, and decaying animals.

Visit Dartmouth’s campus to see Morphy, or spare yourself the odors and watch its metamorphosis scent-free through the college’s live webcam.