BRAINERD, Minn. -- The Central Lakes College campus in Brainerd boasts a rarity likely of interest to those with green thumbs — a blooming corpse flower.
Native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, a corpse flower emits a pungent odor reminiscent of a rotting corpse when in full bloom.
CLC’s plant is on loan from Betty Harrison, a retired Brainerd science teacher. It has been in a horticulture classroom for a couple weeks but was moved out to the campus’ fish pond earlier last week when it started to bloom.
The plant only blooms once a year, which is the only time the smell is present. Each plant produces cormels, similar to bulbs, which serve as storage organs to help plants survive extreme conditions, like winter months.
Harrison plans on trying to get CLC its own cormel from her parent plant to grow at the college. A corpse flower usually takes at least seven years to bloom and produce the rotten odor.
The flower was in full bloom Thursday, March 12, but only lasts 12-48 hours.