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Corpse flower: Putrid-smelling giant flower blooms in Michigan

Corpse flower: Amorphophallus titanum, a five-foot tall, foul-smelling plant native to Sumatra, bloomed Friday for the first time in 15 years at Michigan State University.

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Corpse flower or the large and rare Amorphophallus titanum blooms in a greenhouse on the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing, Mich. The plant that began flowering Friday for the first time in about 15 years at the school was expected to finish blooming Tuesday.

Rod Sanford/Lansing State Journal/AP

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The "corpse flower" is alive at Michigan State University. But it won't last forever.

The 5-foot-tall Amorphophallus titanum that flowered Friday for the first time in 15 years is expected to finish blooming Tuesday.

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Mike Grillo, a Ph.D. student, tells the Lansing State Journal that the randomly flowering plant "looks like something meaty that's dead" and seduces flies and carrion beetles by emitting a pungent perfume akin to the putrid smell of rotting flesh. Portions of its large leaves are blood-colored burgundy.

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About 500 visitors have viewed the plant, which naturally grows in equatorial rainforests on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Grillo said the plant will lie dormant for several months before regrowing.