DC remains on titan watch

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FedScoop’s Social Studies keeps tabs on the latest lifestyle news and events around the Beltway.

The titan arum plant at the U.S. Botanical Gardens on the morning of July 18. (Photo: U.S.Botanical Gardens) The titan arum plant at the U.S. Botanical Gardens on the morning of July 18. (Photo: U.S Botanical Gardens)

While the world waits for the birth of a royal baby, the District waits for the bloom of a plant that smells like death.

The U.S. Botanical Gardens is extending its hours Thursday until 8 p.m. with the hope that the infamous titan arum — a huge stalk known for its rotting flesh scent — will flower today.

Traffic on the garden’s live Web stream is sometimes so busy, people wishing to peek at the plant from a distance can’t even access the site.

Aside from its unique aroma, the titan arum is the world’s largest known unbranched bloom. Native to the tropical rain forests of Sumatra, Indonesia, the plant causes such excitement in the U.S. because it has no annual blooming cycle, making the time between its blossoms rare and unpredictable.

Once in bloom, the titan’s buds will only stick around for a day or two before quickly collapsing. The last time a titan bloomed at the Botanical Gardens was 2007.

The live stream of the plant can be accessed here.

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