The Great Corpse Flower Collapse

Every couple of years we see reports of the infamous Corpse Flower blooming. This plant blooms only every 3-4 years and is notable for its size and aroma. We most recently wrote about this botanical wonder in May 2007 over at Right of Middle. on the occasion of a blooming at UCONN (see below). The latest reported manifestation of the phenomenon is from the Milwaukee WI Public Museum where their specimen should bloom tomorrow or Tuesday.

(UPDATE) Oh oh; This just in:

MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Public Museum’s titan arum — known as the ‘corpse flower’ — is now unlikely to bloom after collapsing on its side Saturday. The museum’s curator of botany, Neil Luebke, says that he thinks they weren’t able to provide enough heat to allow the flower to bloom. The plant is supposed to give off a strong odor lasting about six hours during its infrequent blooms. But while the area around the flower was about 77 degrees, it wasn’t quite as hot and humid as the plant likes it in the mid-80s. Luebke says there’s still a chance the plant could open up, but he’s guessing it won’t. He says there’s not much else they can do, but “that’s nature.”

Corpse Flower

Corpse Flower

h/t FreeRepublic

The Corpse Flower blooms again at UCONN; the previous blooming of this particular plant at the school’s greenhouse was in 2004. Many visitors arrived to partake of the stench from this famously odiferous plant.

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.

Source: AP via WTIC

Oh, here’s a Corpse flower in full bloom…..

Titan Arum “Ted the Titan” in full bloom on June 10 (2003) at the University of California, Davis, Botanical Conservatory. A specimen of Amorphophallus titanum (titan arum), the brief blooming brought a flurry of experiments from UC Davis biologists eager to take advantage of the rare event. Ted was grown from a seed planted in 1995. This was its first flowering. The plants can live for several decades but are thought to flower only every few years.

Photograph courtesy University of California, Davis

Source: National Geographic News

And another…….

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