The adage, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder," is about to be put to the test inside the Mitchell Park Domes.
The conservatory's five-year-old "corpse flower" started to open Tuesday. Horticulturists expect it to be fully open later in the day.
Known scientifically as Amorphophallus titanum, the plant's nickname comes from its trademark stench, compared to a rotting corpse.
"It stinks like a chipmunk died under your couch," said horticulturist Mary Braunteiter.
The bloom and its odor are expected to last 24 to 48 hours. The bloom will then die, and the bulb will go dormant. The plant will go through several growing cycles before blooming again, a process that takes seven to 10 years.