"...everyone is bored,and devotes himself to cultivating habits..these habits are not peculiar to our town.." Albert Camus "The Plague"

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Corpse Flowers are Bursting Out All Over!

Several locations are reporting the blooming of this rare plant on this Mother's Day weekend. Our own
Amorphophallus titanum* (titan arum) at the UCONN greenhouses is blooming at this moment; it's last blooming was in 2004.

The plant pictured above is in the arboretum at Gustavus Adolphus college in St. Peter MN. The culmination of this plant was widely heralded with the announcement "Perry is Open". (Perry must be the plant's name) Another plant 'Ted the Titan", bloomed at UCAL Davis in June 2003.

UCONN experts say:

Once fully opened, the bright red bloom smells like three-day old road kill. It will even look like rotting meat, a perfect scenario for the insects that pollinate it _ flies and carrion beetles.

When the plant first bloomed at UConn in 2004, more than 20,000 people dropped by for a whiff.

School officials say it will be at its stinkiest in the first hour after it blooms tonight. After that, visitors will have about 72 hours, or until Sunday night, to take in the aroma.

Interesting quote:

“It smells just like a rotting corpse. In 2004, there was a medical examiner here who came to see it and confirmed that it smelled exactly like a corpse. It has the compounds that a rotting corpse has." -- Clinton Morse, plant growth facilities manager for UConn's ecology and evolutionary biology department.

Latest from UCONN website

The example below bloomed in Seattle last year.

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*(the name hardly needs translation!)
Tagged: UCONN Gustavus Adolphus College Corpse Flower

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