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A Flower That Makes a Big Stink Is About to Bloom at Fullerton Arboretum


May 16, 2003 :: No. 234

Corpse Flower
Corpse Flower

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What: 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.
When: 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/.
Where: 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.
Background: 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.
Media Contacts: Leo C. Song Jr., Cal State Fullerton Biological Science Greenhouse Complex, at 657-278-2766 or leosong@fullerton.edu.
Chris Barnhill, Fullerton Arboretum, at 657-278-2981 or cbrnhill@fullerton.edu
Dave Reid, Public Affairs, at 657-278-4855 or dreid@fullerton.edu




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