Virginia Tech’s ‘Stinky Phil’ blooms for the first time in five years

Virginia Tech’s ‘Stinky Phil’ blooms for the first time in five years
Stinky Phil is a corpse plant and only blooms once every five years. (Source: WDBJ)

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7)-- If you’ve visited Virginia Tech’s greenhouse, then you’ve probably come across one of the universities more unique plants: Stinky Phil!

Stinky Phil is a corpse plant and only blooms once every five years.

Phil started blooming Saturday and continued his bloom until Monday, but in the next few days, it is expected to close back up.

According to the Greenhouse manager, the plant is vulnerable and could become endangered. And if you’re wondering why Phil smells so bad, it’s because of sulfur-based compounds.

“The plant has all these sulfur-based compounds inside of it, that smell really bad, and they smell even worse when the plant heats up, which it does, it starts to raise its own temperature and as it does these sulfur-based compounds begin to volatilize and they smell a little bit like rotting fish but also maybe like old gym shoes,” Jeff Burr, Greenhouse Manager for the School of Plant and Environmental Science said.

The hope is that the plant will bloom again before 2025!

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