Incredible news: For the first time in two decades, the Netherlands is welcoming an extremely rare plant that stinks and also looks like a penis.
The plant in question, known formally as Amorphophallus decus-silvae and informally as the penis plant, has only flowered three times in Europe since 1997. According to CNN, it announces its imminent flowering by releasing a “terrible, pungent odor akin to rotting flesh,” a description that just sent chills down my spine. If you are not yet grossed out, get this: The smell comes from the white center of the flower (the shaft, if you will), which heats up (!!!!) and emits this stinky update when it’s about to bloom.
Roos Kocken, a volunteer at the botanical garden in Leiden where this frankly offensive plant has lodged itself, posted a TikTok video examining the plant in all its phallic glory. Have I mentioned it is six feet tall? According to Kocken, who called the event a “very special, smelly day,” the volunteers actually placed a ladder next to this penis-shaped beanstalk so that unsuspecting visitors can peer down into its veiny depths.
I’m so excited for these Dutch gardeners! I am also so glad I live nowhere near this large, stinky phallus. I commend the garden volunteers for tolerating such an experience, and quite honestly, I envy them for finding joy in something so deeply gross.