UW botanists selectively breeding campus plants to smell even more like ‘wicked-nasty anus’

Students who’ve previously crinkled their noses at the smell of UW’s decorative campus plants are in for a “wicked-nasty” surprise.

Researchers from the UW botany department announced Monday that they will begin selectively breeding the university’s ubiquitous, malodorous, and universally unpopular decorative plants in 2017, with the goal of making said plants smell even more like “wicked-nasty anus.”

The project’s motivations and aims were outlined in a press release Monday morning.


“Natural human curiosity, scientific intrigue, and an asinine desire to make UW’s resident varieties of skunkweedicus dankae emit an odor more similar in olfactory perception to wicked-nasty anus form the basis of this project,” the release said. “The most pungent specimens on campus will be selectively bred from 2017 onward in an effort to isolate the dank gene.”  

The aforementioned “dank gene” occurs in the decorative plants in varying quantities and is presumed to be responsible for the plants’ characteristic reek, though it’s unclear why UW botanists are attempting to isolate and magnify the effect.  

Horace M. Sterns, the chief botanist working on the selective breeding effort, declined to comment on the enigmatic and seemingly arbitrary nature of the project, though he and other members of his team could be heard faintly snickering and suppressing laughter over the phone.

“We—pfff—at the UW botany department—hehe—don’t have anything—pssshhhh [inaudible murmurs, shushing sounds]—to say about the selective breeding project at this time—huhuhuhhh [snort]…” Sterns said.

Given the rank reputation of the plants, UW students are not thrilled with the news from Birge Hall.

Rebekah Collinson, a junior at UW, said the plants have been turning her daily commute foul for years.  

“Those things smell like shit,” Collinson said. “I wish I could burn ‘em all.”

At press time, the contentious plants were continuing to set countless noses to crinkling along University Avenue and outside UW dining halls.  


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