PHOTO: Rare, Smelly Flower Pops Up at Abandoned Gas Station Drawing Huge Crowds

by Halle Ames

Still wondering what is the perfect gift for your ex? Look no further. This rare, smelly flower appeared at an abandoned gas station.

This terrible smelling plant is drawing a huge crowd to marvel at its rare stench. It’s not your typical tourist attraction. Still, a local nursery owner brought his rare corpse flower to an abandoned gas station in Alameda, California, so that the public could get a good look at it.

Get in the car, kids. We are going to see the flower that smells like a dead body.

ABC 7 News reported that the line of people wrapped around half a block. All so that people could get a peek at the flower, which only blooms after several years.

The rare corpse flower, officially called the titan arum, has found a home at the corner of Santa Clara Ave. and Oak St. It’s owned by a local gardener, Solomon Leyva, who wanted to share it with the community… or air out his home.

“It produces a tree-like looking plant with a really wide canopy,” said Leyva. “It produces it over and over every year until the bulb has sort of enough energy for it to bloom. This can take ten years…15…this can take 20.”

The potent stench is said to be detectable for up to a half-mile away.

The Corpse Flower

The flower has a distinct look… and smell to it. The middle stalk can grow up to 15 feet tall. Furthermore, the flower takes up to a decade to grow but only blooms for about a day before it dies. The bulb then rests several months before the growing process begins again.

Talk about a build-up!

According to SFGate, the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers also has one of these rare plants. Theirs bloomed in 2020. During this time, the Conservatory’s greenhouse extends its hours to accommodate the waves of excited visitors who hoped to say they witnessed the unique bloom.

The Chicago Botanic Garden notes that the corpse flower is considered “vulnerable” in its conservation status. Vulnerable species are likely to become endangered “unless the circumstances threatening its survival and reproduction improve.” Generally, this is due to habitat loss or destruction.

The reason the corpse flower smells so terrible is due to a chemical combination. The Huntington Botanical Gardens give a lovely description of the various smells. They say it is like a combination of Limburger cheese, garlic, rotting fish, and smelly feet.


The Chicago Garden explains that the flower gives off this smell to attract carrion beetles and flesh flies, which pollinate it.