Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Virginia Tech's Smelly 'Corpse Plant' Due To Bloom Aug. 4

Date:
August 3, 2004
Source:
Virginia Tech
Summary:
Virginia Tech has a second Amorphophallus titanum, or "corpse plant," ready to bloom and emit its intensely powerful stench. People are invited to tie bandanas over their noses and come see the rare and unusual plant.

August 2, 2004 - 57" tall. Phil sheds his cataphylls (protective leaves) for Biology greenhouse curator Debbie Wiley.
Credit: Photo courtesy of the Horticulture Department, Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, Va. -- Virginia Tech has a second Amorphophallus titanum, or "corpse plant," ready to bloom and emit its intensely powerful stench. People are invited to tie bandanas over their noses and come see the rare and unusual plant.

Related Articles


The horticulture greenhouse containing the plant is open to visitors Monday through Friday, July 26-30, and August 2-6, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The likely date for the plant to bloom is Wednesday, Aug. 4, said Scott Rapier, greenhouse manager in the Department of Horticulture in Virginia Tech's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; follow the plant's progress on the web at http://www.hort.vt.edu/VTHG/ if you want to see it on the date it blooms.

Although a blooming Amorphophallus titanum, or titan arum, is rarely seen, Virginia Tech's first bloomed in August 2002, drawing crowds who braved the odor and the football traffic to see it. The smelly plant is rare because it puts forth one blossom every four to 10 years. This year, the second plant, located in Virginia Tech's greenhouse complex, should bloom ahead of football traffic, making it easier for the public to visit the greenhouse. The first of these plants in the United States bloomed in 1937 at the New York Botanical Garden, and since, only about 20 have bloomed in this country.

In 1999, when the plant bloomed in the Huntington Botanical Garden in California, more than 76,000 visitors held their noses and went to see it. In Fairchild Garden in Florida, 5,500 visitors made the trek to see the infamous blossom; and at the Botanic Garden of the University of Bonn, Germany, the line to see the flowering titan arum extended more than two miles.

The plant invests a lot of energy during blooming to heat up the sulfur-based compound in the flower stalk so the carrion-like odor will spread several feet away from the plant to attract pollinators. The plant blooms seldom because of the amount of energy needed to bloom. To add to the plant's humiliation, its pollinators include carrion beetles and flesh flies.

In spite of the plant's long preparation for its flowery display, the blooms last, at best, two to three days, so visitors will have to be vigilant to see and smell it. A flowering stalk can be seven to 12 feet in height and three to four feet in diameter. After the bloom dies, a leaf stalk resembling a tree sapling will begin to emerge.

The plant was first discovered in 1878 in Indonesia, first cultivated at the Royal Botanic Gardens in England in 1887. The titan arum is in the same plant family as familiar house plants such as Dieffenbachia, Philodendrons, and Anthuriums.

To get to the greenhouse from Rt. 460, turn onto the Virginia Tech campus at Southgate Drive, turn left on Duck Pond Road, and right on Washington Street. Very shortly, you will see the greenhouses on the right. After taking the road into the greenhouse complex and reaching a gravel section between the glass and fiberglass greenhouses, stop at the first fiberglass greenhouse, number F-6, where the plant is located. Or follow your nose.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Virginia Tech. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Virginia Tech. "Virginia Tech's Smelly 'Corpse Plant' Due To Bloom Aug. 4." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 August 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040803095832.htm>.
Virginia Tech. (2004, August 3). Virginia Tech's Smelly 'Corpse Plant' Due To Bloom Aug. 4. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040803095832.htm
Virginia Tech. "Virginia Tech's Smelly 'Corpse Plant' Due To Bloom Aug. 4." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040803095832.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Around the World Take Flight

Birds Around the World Take Flight

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 22, 2014) An imperial eagle equipped with a camera spreads its wings over London. It's just one of the many birds making headlines in this week's "animal roundup". Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Baby Okapi Born at Houston Zoo

Raw: Baby Okapi Born at Houston Zoo

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) The Houston Zoo released video of a male baby okapi. Okapis, also known as the "forest giraffe", are native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. Video is mute from source. (Nov. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins