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    The Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory on the campus of Cornell University is about to get a ‘wee stinky’ in the coming days.

    The growers at the conservatory are eagerly awaiting the bloom on one of its corpse flowers, which will unleash a rancid smell when the 81.5-inch plant unfurls. The corpse flower – nicknamed Wee Stinky– is predicted to bloom before Saturday, Oct. 15.

    Corpse flowers, which are also known as titan arums, provide some mystery for scientists. The plants are known to be unpredictable and can take years to bloom. Thousands of people traveled to the conservatory to watch Wee Stinky during its first bloom in 2012, and again in 2014. Crowds also flocked to see Cornell’s other titan arum, nicknamed Carolus, bloom in 2015.

    The plants take many forms during their life cycle — growing from tiny, leafy shrubs to small, tree-like plants that wither away and become corms, which are bulb-like, underground masses.

    During blossom, the plant resurfaces and grows as tall as an adult human. It forms a giant spathe, which is a leaf-like structure. At the center of the spathe is a spadix, which is a huge cone. During full bloom, the spathe opens and reveals vibrant colors while emitting a smell like that of rotting meat.

    The plant is currently on display at the conservatory, which is open to the public most weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Conservatory hours will be extended until 9 p.m. when the flowering starts and then open at 9 a.m. the following day (10 a.m. if on the weekend).

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