Bizarre Botany

Take a whiff ...

The University of Wisconsin's prized "corpse flower" (known to the flower geeks as Titan Arum) is going to bloom today. This is a fairly large event because (a) corpse flowers only bloom every 4 or 5 years, and (b) the damn things are almost impossible to cultivate, especially indoors.

The whole thing is pretty cool, and the gang at U of W are giving it the full celebrity treatment. If you follow the link to the streaming media page you can watch the thing unfurl - the whole process should take about 3 hours. The best part of the media page, though, is "Mo's Daily Updates" where the greenhouse guru gives you the daily play-by-play going back to the start of the week. This guy totally gets off on plants.

Oh - in case you were wondering, it is called a corpse flower because it emits a powerful aroma that smells exactly like a badly decomposed body. The whole greenhouse fills with the stench and in 2001 a rather large number of visitors to "Big Bucky" either passed out, barfed, or (most entertainingly) both.

Posted: Fri - June 10, 2005 at 11:32 AM