Brooklyn is indeed home to many noxious smells, but perhaps the most intriguing one in recent history occurred during the peak blooming hours of the Amorphophallus titanum in the early morning of August 11th at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The “Corpse Flower,” native to the equatorial forests of Sumatra, emits a revolting smell of putrefaction to attract its pollinators (carrion beetles and sweat bees) and is said to have made the first botanist who tried to paint it very ill. Nonetheless, visitors came out in droves to experience a rare natural show as mesmerizing as any modern art installation . . . and perhaps even to get a glimpse (and share a whiff) of the timeless beauty of evolution.
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