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Reeking of feces and rotting fish, a CT corpse flower blooms

Full of funk, and now fully in bloom, a rare double-stemmed “corpse flower” is stinking up Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic this week.

The plant, (scientific name “Amorphophallus titanum”), reaches its first bloom after about 10 years.

When it does, this alien-looking flower unleashes an absolutely atrocious smell – a mélange of rotting fish and feces, according to Bryan Connolly, an associate professor of biology at the school.

Still, eager observers are flocking to Willimantic to get a glimpse – and a whiff.

Several hundred people formed a line out the door Tuesday night, including visitors from Boston and Texas. On Wednesday, university spokesperson Ryan Quigley bravely stood inside the busy greenhouse and described the foul stench.

"I would say it's like if you've ever smelled something that makes you wanna throw up, that would be the smell. You also do get used to it, believe it or not," Quigley said. "I was in here for about two hours last night and I, kind of, lost my sense of smell. But if I went close to it, all of a sudden you get that whiff again and you're like, 'Oh my God, this is disgusting.'"

But the display – and its notorious stench – will be short-lived. The bloom is expected to last about three days, school officials said.

Native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, corpse flowers are rare in their native jungle habitat. For decades, they’ve been cultivated in greenhouses, but catching one in blossom is a rare, and memorably smelly, event.

Eastern's greenhouse contains two genetic individuals and several clones of corpse flower, according to the school.

The flower is blooming in the university's greenhouse in the David G. Carter Science Building. It will be open to the public until 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Unable to go? It won’t be smelly, but there’s also a livestream of the flower that you can check out.

This story has been updated. Connecticut Public's Janae Spinato, Dave Wurtzel and Patrick Skahill contributed to this post.

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