23/03/2012 07:31 GMT

Corpse Flowers That Reek Of Rotting Flesh Bloom Around World (PICTURES)

Almost in a collective ritual, large flowers that reek of rotting flesh are blooming at a number of locations across the world at nearly the same time.

One corpse flower in Kiel, Germany's botanical garden has blossomed at the same time that scientists at America's Cornell university have happily chosen to surround themselves with the flower's stench of rotting meat, all in the name of science.

The plant, Amorphophallus titanum, is best known for synthesising and emitting the smell of rotting meat to attract flies.

Better known as titan arums or simply corpse flowers, the plants blooms very rarely, sometimes just once every few years, before the flower wilts away.

As a result Cornell have had only a few days to complete their testing, which is an attempt to find out more about the rancid smell it produces by capturing the aromatic compounds.

A Cornell university press officer told local college paper The Ithacan that the university is interested in the plant because "it’s not very often that a plant smells like dead, rotting meat.

“It’s plant matter; it’s not supposed to smell like dead, rotting meat.”

Meanwhile, in Kiel, a titan arum has bloomed in time for visitors to get a good look (and whiff) of the plant, which only blooms for around three days before wilting away.

Despite their awful smell, the plants themselves are very interesting to look at. They consist of one huge flower, with a vast spadix (a thick stem with smaller flowers on it) that can reach to around ten feet in height.

The plant, native to the Sumatra region of Indonesia, creates the rancid odour similar to that of a rotting animal in order to attract carrion flies, which then carry away the plant's pollen.

Look below for pictures of the reeking plants