The fartblossom (Malodorus flatulus) is an aquatic or ground plant whose leaves float atop the water or protrude from the ground from a stalk that is quite prickly and hairy. Its roots extend vertically below the surface, where it is anchored via a circular contractile ground sphincter that orients its tilt.
The fartblossom uses a hybrid type of photosynthesis that converts CO2 to hydrogen sulfide instead of oxygen, although other byproducts are released, presenting as a bouquet of flatus variations as perceived by Cranial Nerve I (Olfactory Nerve). There have been over 200 different biochemical molecules isolated from Malodorus flatulus thus far, but more studies are needed (with — not surprisingly — few takers).
Many descriptions have been proffered to describe its perfume, e.g., "dead rat," "infected pus ball," "smegmata ad nauseum," "burned mucus retention clots" (i.e., burned boogers), and Lazarus just before being raised from the dead (John 11:38-40).
Its bloom, which is typically VERY SUDDEN, is accompanied by the plant tilting to one side or the other and a sound much like a thunderburst. In fact, one can gauge how far away he or she is from the plant by counting the seconds between hearing a bloom and the olfactory perception of its signature scent, quickly followd by involuntary lacrimation by someone so unfortunately situated in its proximity. Hence, the adage associated with it, "It won't break your heart, but it will make you cry."
Some botanists have claimed to have observed a "silent but deadly" variation of its bloom, with no sound at all. But they died.
Others report a sound not unlike the scratching sound of a Geiger counter. Further research into this phenomenon is currently underway with prisoner volunteers, usually sex offenders, who typically ask if they've been relocated to Wisconsin (State Motto: "Cut the cheese or die!).
Growing in voluminous patches, they create a minicanopy over ground that is ominously devoid of ants, beetles, slugs, or any other observable life, except for rare eproctophiliac arachnids, colloquially referred to as "barking spiders." Ironically, bovine species, notorious for their own natural methane production, avoid any pastures where the fartblossom dominates.
It is theorized that if this were not the case, a "perfect storm" of sorts could Chernoblize large populations for generations.
The slightest contact with it will provoke its paroxysmal bloom and its exudate is difficult to remove when it is aerosolized into the air and lands on hair, skin, clothing, etc. Seeds are very prolific in the spontaneous generation of buds soon thereafter and are often thrown onto others' properties during neighborhood quarrels. Others plant them as a strategy to keep neighbors' dogs from defecating on their property, relying on the wind to mitigate this questionable trade-off.
Some post-COVID anosmia people rub the petals on their skin to discourage mosquitos. As it turns out, mosquitos are not only discouraged by the petal dust, but they have estate sales, move out, and leave no forwarding address. Subsaharan countries where malaria is endemic have declined offers for importing the fartblossom, affirming they'd rather just get malaria, thank you.
A historical aside: When the French took their shot at building the Panama Canal, 22,000 people died of malara or yellow fever. The USS Hope, the hospital ship, was originally considered for construction to aid in the recovery of many of the workers. This idea was scrapped until 1960 because a different ship, the USS Hopeless, was constructed to traverse the chasm between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans with rotting Malodorus flatulus (putrefaction of Malodorus flatulus: if you thought it couldn't smell worse!). It was felt this would rid the Panama isthmus of mosquitos for good.
However, according to Panama's legislative body, the official response was that, "Although the symptoms of yellow fever are terrifying, we'd prefer the fever, headaches, back pain, extreme thirst, and black vomit from internal bleeding to a life of weeping."
Yet, the reality, as everyone agrees, is that the real reason was leaving a wafting trail of such tenaceous stink would just be bad for business thereafter. This is so intuitively accepted, that the phrase, "Following in the wake of the Hopeless," has become synonymous with other clichés, such as "Up shit's creek," "shit out of luck," and "You're just fucked."
Other interesting facts:
- The fartblossom is the national flower of Hell.
- It is also the real reason Vincent van Gogh took his life, while doing his unfinished still life, "Plant Indisposed." (He should have cut off his nose, instead, like Tycho Brahe, who fell into a nest of Maldori flatuli in a tragic misstep.)
- Its petals can be ground up to add to a smoothie, but...really?
- It has been scientifically proven that it is the only flora that has a sense of humor, yet with a coinciding penchant for revenge.
- If you smell it, you're "following in the wake of the Hopeless."