The world's largest flower bloomed here in Rhode Island for the very first time, this weekend, and dozens went to take a whiff of its unusual scent.
Her name is Audrey. A flower so special, the staff at URI has given her a human name.
"It's a great opportunity," said URI research assistant Gabrielle Torphy, "If I were not here in the greenhouse with it, it would be almost a once in a lifetime experience to see something like this blooming."
URI bought Audrey two years ago. It was the first of her kind to bloom here in the Ocean State and only one of a hundred documented in the United States.
But this rare flowers comes with one downfall.
"It smells terrible," said one young onlooker, "Like fish and dead people."
"It smells like the whole thing is made out of trash, like a sculpture of trash," said another little boy.
It's tough to convey just how smelly this four foot flower is, but let's just say it's called the corpse flower for a reason.
To put it in scientific terms, Audrey's smell is like that of decomposing flesh, but her smell won't linger for long. The corpse flower only blooms for a day or so. Dave Hammond was at URI, Sunday, checking it out with his family.
"For them it's a once in a lifetime experience," said Hammond, "You know, it's the first time I've seen one and I'm 49 years old, so I thought it be interested to come out and have them see one and see what their opinion on what it smells like is."
They're especially lucky to see it, because the corpse flower only blooms every four years and is endangered.
"That's mainly due to loss of habitat because of construction, deforestation and things like that," said researcher Torphy.
Audrey beat the odds and came to a full bloom Sunday morning. But she was already wilting later in the day and was expected to be gone by the end of Labor Day.