In case you missed it, here's a 5-minute time-lapse video of the corpse flower bloom that recently took place at the D.C. Smith Greenhouse, put together by greenhouse manager Johanna Oosterwyk.
9/24/2010, 11 a.m.:
The Titan Arum still looks pretty good, but it's starting to lose its rigidity and will probably fall over during the weekend.
9/23/2010, 11:30 a.m.:
The flower is still standing at this point.
9/22/2010, 10 a.m.:
The flower is still standing and still stinky, but not quite as strong.
9/21/2010, 4:30 p.m.:
The flower is in full bloom, and its stench fills the room.
9/21/2010, 12 p.m.:
The flower's spathe is starting to open, revealing the dark purple on the surface of the plant's big "petal." It doesn't stink much yet, but the scent will grow stronger over the next 3-4 hours as the bloom matures.
9/21/2010, 9 a.m.:
It looks like the Titan Arum may bloom later today. There's already a faint aroma around the spathe. If it does, the D.C. Smith Greenhouse will stay open until 10 p.m. for viewing.
The flower, now 46 inches tall, shed its final sheath. All signs point to the flower blooming early next week, probably on Tuesday.
Original post from 9/15/2010:
In the D.C. Smith Greenhouse there is an air of quiet excitement as the staff waits for the resident Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanum) to bloom. The plant grew from a seed from Big Bucky, the first Titan Arum to flower on campus in 2001. It'll be the first time the 9-year old plant has bloomed.
The Titan Arum is native to Sumatra and is famous for the repulsive odor given off by the mature bloom. The plant grows from a large tuber and each season sprouts either a single leaf (up to 12 feet tall) or a flowering stalk.
On September 6 greenhouse staff determined that this season’s sprout was in fact the plant's first flower. The stalk will grow quickly; it has already put on over 14 inches in less than a week. Greenhouse staff have yet to determine the actual date of bloom--and smell--but will be sure to keep the college updated. The flower is expected to open sometime before the end of next week.
Visitors are always welcome in the D.C. Smith Greenhouse, located at the corner of Babcock and Linden Drives, during regular university hours.
For more information on the Titan Arum, visit this Department of Botany web page: http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/Titan_Arum_Archive/index.html