The Washington Post

Stop and smell the corpse flower at the U.S. Botanic Garden

(Deb Lindsey/For The Washington Post)

While the rest of the world awaits the arrival of the royal baby, it's the emergence of the titan arum flower at the U.S. Botanic Garden that has Washington holding its collective breath -- literally.

U.S. Botanic Garden prepares to smell like death

Known informally as the corpse flower, the unusual bloom has an odor that falls somewhere between putrid and "very dead elephant." In addition to its stench, the titan arum is the world's largest flower; it could bloom at any moment, and the Botanic Garden has extended hours until 8 p.m. tonight (Update: And Wednesday as well.) for olfactory thrill seekers who want a whiff during the flower's brief 24-to-48-hour appearance.

Watch a live webcam (alas, without the smell) of the titan arum:

Broadcasting live with Ustream

Alex Baldinger is editor of the Going Out Guide blog, which covers food, drink, arts, music, events and other curiosities in the D.C. area. He is forever in search of a great sandwich.
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