'Penis plant' blooms in Netherlands for third time in European history

The last time the rare flower was observed was 25 years ago. Visitors and botanists all over Europe are coming to witness the exotic – and rotten smelling – plant.

 Visitors look at the Amorphophallus Titanum, one of the world's largest flowers, at the National Botanic Garden in Meise near Brussels August 8, 2008. (photo credit: REUTERS/FRANCOIS LENOIR)
Visitors look at the Amorphophallus Titanum, one of the world's largest flowers, at the National Botanic Garden in Meise near Brussels August 8, 2008.
(photo credit: REUTERS/FRANCOIS LENOIR)

A weird looking plant, known for it’s terrible smell and phallic shape, has been seen in Europe for the third time in history.

The plant, known to botanists as Amorphophallus decus-silvae, is commonly called “penis plant”. One look at the flower explains why. Another word for this vegetation is the “corpse plant” because of its strong odor of rotting flesh.

The unique flower was last seen in 1997 and usually grows in the Indonesian island of Java, and requires seven years to grow to its natural size. When the flower surprisingly bloomed in Europe to a height of 1.5 meters, the stunned botanists claimed that the occurrence was exceptionally rare.

They explained that the plant is best known for its repulsive aroma, which attracts bugs and other flies that then go on to pollinate other plants.

 THE ''PENIS PLANT'', Amorphophallus decus-silvae. (credit: FLICKR) THE ''PENIS PLANT'', Amorphophallus decus-silvae. (credit: FLICKR)

Last week, the Hortus botanical garden of Leiden University published a photo of the plant on its twitter page, captioned, “Finally! The penis plant Amorphophallus decus-silvae is blooming in our Tropical Greenhouse.” They added that the foul smell associated with the plant is present and "hangs in the air."

"You don’t want to miss this!” added the group's Twitter post, inviting visitors to witness the oddity.