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9 of the worst smelling flowers in the world

Jan. 10, 2013, 5:55 p.m.
Stapelia gigantea

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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Stapelia gigantea

The fuzzy, mesmerizing, starlike bloom of this plant is captivating enough to draw you in — but the stench is sure to drive you away. Stapelia gigantea is a carrion flower, and emits the stench of rotting flesh. In fact, the flower's hairy, leathery texture is believed to mimic the rotting flesh of a dead animal, for added effectiveness in luring in its pollinator of choice: flies. Because of their alluring appearance, the flowers enjoy some relative fanfare among cultivators. Understandably, it is strongly recommended that they be kept outdoors, where the fresh air can dilute the odor.