Rotty Top Live: Rare corpse flower bloomed at University of Tennessee

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‘Rotty Top’ Corpse Flower bloomed on July 29 at the University of Knoxville. Photos courtesy Knoxville News Sentinel

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A corpse flower bloomed last week at the University of Tennessee for the first time since it arrived on campus two decades ago. The flower, also known as titan arum, gets its name from the scent it emits while flowering. The smell is described as “the rotting body of an animal.”

“It smells like a dead animal to attract flies, which are attracted to rotting animals. It’s bright crimson for the same reason. Botany courses use it for the students to understand different plants around the world. It’s a good teaching tool,” said Jeff Martin, the greenhouse manager for UT’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

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