The school says its greenhouse will be open to the public during the one-day blooming of the so-called corpse flower.
Unlike other flowers that rely on bees for pollination, this one counts on flies. It attracts them with the smell of rotting flesh, and they in turn spread its sticky pollen.
Its nauseating scent comes from two sulfur-producing chemicals within its leaves.
The UCSB plant is 4 feet tall and growing rapidly. A live webcam of the plant can be found on the school's website.