Phew! Rare 'corpse flower' blooms at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS — A rare flower is blooming in St. Louis, a happy event even if the aroma is anything but pleasant.

KMOV-TV ( ) reports that the rare "corpse flower" began blooming Monday at the Missouri Botanical Garden. It will maintain its full form for three to five days.

The plant got its name because it gives off a rotten smell over the first 24 hours of the bloom.

Officials at the Botanical Garden say few corpse flowers exist in the wild, in a small area of Southeast Asia. The plant can bloom as often as every two to three years, or as infrequently as every 10 years.

Botanical Garden spokeswoman Holly Berthold says fewer than 160 flowerings have been documented worldwide over the past 120 years.

Information from: KMOV-TV,

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