Stinky Flower Set To Bloom Again
Illustration: Kandis Elliott
The stinky flower growing in the green house of University of Wisconsin at Madison, called Titan arum, is ready to bloom again, and spread its stench. This rare plant blooms only every so often, so its bloomins is quite an event. For example, the picture above is that of the same flowe which last bloomed in June 2001.
Four years ago, Fayyaz and his colleagues were witness to a huge titan arum blossom that grew in the university's Botany Greenhouse to a size of 8.5 feet, just 3.5 inches shy of the then-world record set in 1932. The current world record, set in 2003 at the Bonn Botanic Garden in Germany, stands just an inch short of nine feet.
Originally a native of Indonesia, this stinky flower which is also called corpse flower, has the scientific name of Amorphophallus titanum. The blooming of this phalic flower that stinks caused quite a furor in 2001 with some 20000 people turning out to see it. So this year, UW-Madison is getting prepared for a similar onslaught of visitors again and if you want to volunteer, please visit the UW website.
There is also a beautiful quick time video of the 2001 bloom. If you can't visit the green house, at least you can view the next best thing - right in your living room. Read the instructions carefully, and wait for the full file download before you watch the bloom.