Kicker: The corpse flower

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today we have something really frightening for you, something that could scare people away faster than any costume!   

It’s a very rare plant known as the “corpse flower.” It gets its nickname from its putrid smell and it’s expected to bloom very soon in the greenhouse at New Hampshire’s Dartmouth College.

The plant’s actual name is the titan arum. It’s native to Sumatra’s rainforests. It has a long, pointy stalk with a skirt-like covering and tiny yellow flowers at its base.

It blooms just for several days. When it does, it has an odor described as a decaying animal. The scent contains the same chemicals as limburger cheese, rotting fish, and sweaty socks. Now that’s scary!

EICHER: Sounds stinky!

REICHARD: It’s The World and Everything in It.


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

Like this story?

To hear a lot more like it, subscribe to The World and Everything in It via iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or Pocket Casts.







Pocket Casts

(Requires a fee)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.