A Flower That Makes a Big Stink
Is About to Bloom at Fullerton Arboretum
May 16, 2003 :: No. 234
||Titan Arum or “Corpse Flower,” a
plant that smells like rotting flesh when in full bloom, will
be on display at the Fullerton Arboretum next week.
||The plant may bloom this weekend or soon after,
depending on weather and other factors. Once in bloom, the plant
will remain open for approximately three days before the central
column or spadix collapses. The stench is expected to last about
a day, according to Chris Barnhill, Fullerton Arboretum curator.
Daily updates on the projected flowering of “Tiffy”
are being posted on the Web at http://biology.fullerton.edu/titanarum/.
||The 26-acre Fullerton Arboretum is located on
the northeast portion of the Cal State Fullerton campus at Associated
Road and Yorba Linda Boulevard. Once in bloom, the Titan Arum
exhibit will be open to the public daily from 8 a.m. –
5 p.m. on the south part of the Oak Hall Deck. The plant will
be on display for approximately one week.
||The Corpse Flower is just one of the rare and
unusual plants in the university’s collection. Native
to the rain forests of central Sumatra in Indonesia, Titan Arum
is the world’s largest flower. The spadix can attain a
height of nine feet. The spathe, which surrounds the spadix,
can be three feet across with the edges four feet above ground
level. When the plant flowers, it emits a stench, presumably
to attract insects that normally feed on dead animals. These
insects include many species of flies and carrion beetles. The
insects carry pollen from one plant to another, thus pollinating
the plant’s flowers.
||Leo C. Song Jr., Cal State Fullerton Biological
Science Greenhouse Complex, at 657-278-2766 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris Barnhill, Fullerton Arboretum, at 657-278-2981 or email@example.com
Dave Reid, Public Affairs, at 657-278-4855 or firstname.lastname@example.org