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Rare record-setting corpse flower blooms in Michigan

<i>WWJ via CNN Newsource</i><br/>A rare record-setting corpse flower blooms in Michigan.
Lawrence, Nakia
WWJ via CNN Newsource
A rare record-setting corpse flower blooms in Michigan.

By Meredith Bruckner

Click here for updates on this story

    DEXTER, Michigan (WWJ) — A rare corpse flower is now in bloom in Dexter.

The plant gets its name from its pungent smell of rotting flesh, but to its owners, it’s known as “Corpsy.” It has set the record for the tallest blooming corpse flower in the state of Michigan at 63.5 inches.

It’s also believed to be the first ever corpse flower to bloom inside a private residence.

They are most commonly grown in conservatories around the world and originate from the island of Sumatra.

The stinky bloom lasts anywhere from 24 to 48 hours.

Owner Kevin Hauser said the moment he’s been waiting years for brings mixed emotions.

“It’s kind of bittersweet because just thinking about her as an organism, and she spent seven years of her life for this 24-hour moment,” he said.

He purchased the cloned specimen in North Carolina when it was a 2-inch corm.

“It’s been so exciting, and then to see his reaction coming home yesterday to see her for the first time opening and to see him getting really sentimental about it, it’s just been really exciting,” said Hauser’s wife, Barbie.

The Hausers allowed more than 100 family, friends and community members to come view the plant during its brief bloom.

“We read that there’s only 1,000 of them still around, so to have one locally around to see it is really spectacular that they are taking all this care and they have babies, which is exciting to see, too,” said visitor Shelly Vrsek.

So, what does it smell like?

“It smells like a rotten refrigerator,” said Darish.”

“It smells like a corpse,” said Vrsek. “Like rotting lettuce.”

“By the time midnight came around, we couldn’t even enter the conservatory anymore,” Kevin Hauser said. “We taped it off and opened the doors. But, it is interesting that you could smell it outside. And we’ve got video of eight to 10 turkey vultures literally circling the house.”

He said the conservatory suddenly became filled with flies as a result.

The Hausers said the bloom peaked overnight on Tuesday and was a stunning display.

Although the bloom is rapidly closing, Hauser is raising several other corpse flowers that are in different stages of growth, some of which he said are even more rare than Corpsy.

He said he was proud to be a steward of the plant and that it was worth all the time and care he put in.

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