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Most of us love flowers for how good they smell! But did you know some flowers are actually pretty stinky? Join Jessi and Squeaks to learn all about Trudy: The World's Smelliest Flower!

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Fuchsia Tulip on Purplish Pink




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Lilium candidum 1

UCBG front Gate
[SciShow Kids Intro Plays]

0:12) Oh hey guys! We're just watering these pretty flowers that Squeaks picked out! Tulips are my favorite flowers because they're just so pretty. But, I like lilacs because I love the way they smell. What's your favorite flower?

(0:24) Some flowers smell goodlike lilies, and roses, and lilacs. But not all flowers have smells that everyone would enjoy.

(0:30) For example: Meet this flower, nicknamed Trudy! Trudy doesn't smell good. At all. To be honest, it smells really, really bad! And, in fact, it's been called the smelliest flower in the world! Some people say it smells like diapers. Others say it smells like rotting meat or old eggs. But, even though Trudy doesn't smell so good, it still has a lot in common with other, sweeter-smelling flowers.

(0:55) For one thing, Trudy is a flower, a kind called a corpse flower. And, like roses, lilies, and lilacs, a corpse flower is a kind of plant. It stays in one place, but it grows and changes just like you and I do.

(1:06) Plants can be small, just like these lilies, or big like a corpse flower. Trudy lives in a botanical garden in Berkeley, California, but it wasn't always this big.

(1:15) Like most plants, it started out as a seed in the ground. If the conditions are just right, a seed will split open, and part of the plant will push its way out. When plants do this, it's called germinationand it means a new plant is just beginning!

(1:29) The plant sprouts little roots that spread out and go down into the soil. Then the roots suck up water and food that the plant uses to grow.

(1:36) Now, lots of plantslike the corpse flowergrow flowers, too. But not all plants do. If a plant happens to be a flowering kind, then it will grow a little bump called a bud. And, as the plant grows, the bud slowly opens, and its petals unfold. And, voila! A flower has bloomed! But, why does Trudy smell so... smelly?

(1:56) Well, flowers are a really important way that plants use to reproduce, or make new plants. They do that by attracting animals -- like birds, bees, flies, and beetles -- with their smell.

(2:08) When those animals get near a flower, they search for the source of its smell, looking for food. And while they're in there, they pick up a lot of sticky powder that's inside the flower called pollen. After the animals leave the flower, they then travel to other flowers, where they rub off the pollen that they were carrying from the first flower. When the pollen from the first flower rubs on the second flower, it can produce a new seed -- which grows into a new plant! This is called pollination, and the animals that carry the pollen are called pollinators! But some pollinators don't just go for sweet-smelling flowers like roses. 

(2:41) They also like the stinky smell of flowers like Trudy. Insects like beetles and flies are especially fond of the corpse flower's stink. To us, it may smell like a dead animal, but, to them, it smells like breakfast.

(2:53) And, in addition to its weird smell, what's neat about corpse flowers is that they don't open up very often to let pollinators in. Some of them only bloom once every ten years, releasing it nasty smell, and then closing up again, sometimes in less than one day. That's why whenever a plant like Trudy blooms, lots of people line up to visit it, no matter how bad it smells!

(3:14) So even if a flower smells really bad, it's still doing its job... helping a plant to make new plants. Even if it is stinky!

(3:21) If you'd like us to sniff out some information about other plants, or flowers, or... anything, let us know by leaving a comment below or sending us an email at Thanks, and we'll see you next time!