GILFORD, N.H. (AP) – A rare “corpse flower” is expected to bloom later this month – filling the air nearby with the pungent odor of decaying flesh that gives the flower its name.

The plant’s owner hopes to take advantage of the rare blooming to raise money for Laconia Kiwanis Club charities. He hopes 16,000 people will pay $10 each for a glimpse and sniff.

The exact location of exotic plant is being kept secret for now. The flower is expected to bloom between Aug. 20 and Aug. 26, the closing day of the Timberman Triathlon and Old Home Day.

Town Administrator Evans Juris said officials are concerned about problems with crowds. He said a special events permit would be needed for more than 100 people to see the flower at a time.

The “corpse flower” – or amorphophallus titanum – is native to the rain forests of Sumatra, where it is pollinated by carrion and dung beetles attracted by its foul aroma. The plant was discovered in 1878 by an Italian botanist and first bloomed in the United States in 1937 at the New York Botanical Gardens.

The flower resembles a massive jack-in-the-pulpit and grows from a large tuber or bulb. It weighs as much as 170 pounds.

It can reach nine feet in eight and open to a diameter of three or four feet. The plant blooms rarely and then for just three to five days.

Information from: The Laconia Daily Sun

AP-ES-08-10-06 1411EDT

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