The corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum) only blooms every 7 to 10 years. So, even though this thing is supposed to smell like a pile of rotting animals, I found myself trekking across wintry tundra to see and smell it.
When I arrived at the conservatory at the U of M's College of Biological Sciences, I found a line about 50-people long. Everyone, it seemed, had caught whiff of the Sumatran flowering plant. After 15 minutes of shuffling through the humid corridors, there it was before me: a beautiful impossibility during a bitter-cold February day in Minnesota. Up close, the massive petals looked like thick lettuce leaves. The spadix was like a loaf of french bread. I snapped a couple of photos, breathed in deep, and made my exit. The stink had faded by the time I saw the plant, and I have to say, I was a little disappointed.
This is likely the only time in my life I'll say I was sad it didn't stink more.