A big stink blooms at Binghamton University

By Jillian Marshall

June 20, 2013 Updated Jun 21, 2013 at 10:05 AM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Titus Arum, or Corpse Flower, finally gave the world a peek inside Thursday at Binghamton University -- although visitors had been sensing the massive plant for much longer.

People filled the hallways and campus greenhouse to catch a glimpse of "Metis," and its odor described most commonly as like rotting flesh.

The flower stands at more than 70 inches, and blossoms hundreds of flowers inside the bell.

But its striking purple and green appearance takes a back seat when the stench fills the air.

"Visually it's quite beautiful. It's got this purple ruffle and it's very cool looking, it's kind of mysterious and weird. Beautiful in a very untypical way. But it really smells terrible," said Binghamton resident Liz Rosenberg.

The stench is described as rotten flesh, garbage and skunk.

"It smells pretty much exactly like an outhouse," said Zach Smith, of Binghamton.

Greenhouse manager Laurie Bell says the flower heats up before sending out the scent.

"It sends it out in a pulse, and you get a wave of the scent at one time and it kind of goes away for a little bit and then it pulses out again and you smell it again," Bell said.

This is the second time this stinky plant has bloomed in three years, which is extremely rare, just like the endangered flower.

The flower will be in bloom for approximately 24 hours.

Greenhouse staff and students started pollinating the plant Thursday night.