“Terrible” is subjective; such flowers might smell good to some people and not to others. But how they smell to people is largely irrelevant; flowers evolved the chemicals that we call smell along with the evolution of insects’ ability to use flowers’ nectar; actions of plants and insects became mutally beneficial. So whatever chemicals a plant puts out are beneficial to it.
Flowers smell and look different to attract different birds and insects to distribute their pollen. Flowers that look bright and smell good usually attract bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. Some flowers use different means to spread their pollen, however. Some use the wind, in which case there is no need for sent. Some flowers, like a group known as carrion flowers, smell like rotting flesh because they rely on flies, carrion beetles, and maggots to spread their pollen, or they eat them. Some examples are the starfish flower and the dragon arum.
The Carrion Flower, also known as the corpse plant, is native to the Indonesian rainforest. It gets its’ name from the characteristic odor of rotting meat that it gives off. Although the smell is repulsive to humans, to a fly or a beetle the smell is attractive. When the insects land on the large plant to check it out or to lay their eggs, pollen from the flower brushes onto them as they travel around the plant. This movement spreads the pollen to other parts of the plant, ultimately helping with the plants reproduction.
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