Titan arum plant goes on display at Botanic Garden Conservatory

The titan arum last went on display in D.C. in 2007. Photo: U.S. Botanic Garden

Open your eyes and hold your nose - one of the world's most odiferous plants is going on display in Washington starting Thursday.

The titan arum - which is more often known by the ominous "Corpse Flower" moniker - will be in bloom likely through Friday at the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory near the Capitol.

The stench; there's no other word to describe it, really; resembles rotting flesh, most observers say.

Its odor is strongest overnight during peak bloom.

Botanic Garden botanists say that the titan arum doesn't have a traditional annual blooming cycle. Rather, the Corpse Flower flowers unpredictably, spanning for as long as several years before blooms.

The flower, which was first discovered in 1878, is indigenous to Indonesia. It was last on display in Washington in 2007.