ST. PETER, Minn. - The corpse flower at Gustavus Adolphus College is in full bloom, and the air Sunday was fetid with the stench of dead fish.

The flower, known as Gemini, opened up late Saturday night, said Amy Kochsiek, a continuing assistant professor of biology at Gustavus.

The brief and infrequent blooms of a corpse flower can sometimes only last a few hours, and by Sunday afternoon the plant already smelled like fish, one of the last odors in the cycle, Kochsiek said.

The Biology Department set up a livestream for curious Minnesotans to watch the plant bloom. Signs directed visitors to the greenhouse on the third floor of the campus' Nobel Hall of Science, where on Sunday visitors could observe the plant through a window.

The endangered corpse flower species has adopted a strategy of emitting the smell of rotting flesh and other smells that attract flies, beetles and other insects that can help spread its pollen, said Brian O'Brien, a professor emeritus in chemistry at Gustavus, last week.

The flowers originate in Sumatra, Indonesia, and their pungent odors start off identical to rotting flesh before cycling through notes of fecal matter, decaying fish and sauerkraut, O'Brien said.

Gustavus saw the first flowering of the plant in Minnesota in 2007, according to the college. Other plants in Minnesota have also begun to sprout, such as one that bloomed earlier this year at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in May.

Over the course of the corpse flower's bloom, the plant will heat up by 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit, which helps the smell spread and attract pollinators, the professor said. The immense energy required to heat up the flower and release its stinky aromas are part of the reason why the plant blooms so infrequently.

By late afternoon Sunday, the corpse flower had already started to wilt, the scent had faded and the plant had gone cold. Soon, professors at the college will open a hole in the plant's exterior, hard as a watermelon rind. They'll scoop out its pollen with a teaspoon to store for posterity, as part of efforts to preserve the species.

There's a still chance Gustavus will see another bloom this year, said Kochsiek. A second plant, genetically identical to the one that bloomed, has about a coin flip's chance of either flowering or becoming a leaf.

So far, though, the plant is still "unsure," Kochsiek said.