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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
  • Rare Bloom of Corpse Flower to Occur at Southwestern College

  • Max Thompson, professor of biology and greenhouse supervisor at Southwestern College, has announced that a rare
    event is going to occur inside the Southwestern College greenhouse. An
    Amorphophallus titanium, known as the titan arum or corpse flower, will
    bloom sometime next week.
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  • Rare Bloom of Corpse Flower to Occur at Southwestern College
    Max Thompson, professor of biology and greenhouse supervisor at Southwestern College, has announced that a rare
    event is going to occur inside the Southwestern College greenhouse.  An
    Amorphophallus titanium, known as the titan arum or corpse flower, will
    bloom sometime next week.
    "There are only a few, if any, each year in the United States that have
    one bloom. As you can imagine, we are terribly excited about this,"
    Thompson says.
    Southwestern will have a camera set up and will stream video of the
    event.  The web address can be accessed by going to www.gosc.com.
    According to Thompson, The corpse flower is native to Western Sumatra in
    Indonesia. This plant gets its name from the odor that emanates from it
    when it blooms. The scent is the smell of a dead mammal. The odor
    attracts blowflies and carrion beetles which the plant uses to pollinate
    itself.
    "It is a rare event to bloom this plant as it takes years for the corm
    to get large enough to produce a flower," Thompson says.  "The
    Southwestern College plant came from a corm from Selby Gardens in
    Sarasota, Fla. The corm was about 2" when we received it from the
    garden. Although we don't know the exact size of it now, the last time
    we repotted, it weighed about 20 lbs.  The world record for weight comes
    from Germany where a corm weighed 258 lbs."
    The flower typically opens in mid-afternoon and stays open all night,
    emitting the foul stench to attract flies and beetles to pollinate it.
    The spadix or center part of the flower only lasts about 24 hours.
    The Southwestern College greenhouse will keep an update on the voicemail
    (620-229-6285).  The greenhouse will be open when the plant blooms for
    the public to see. The greenhouse is located on the north side of campus
    behind the Beech Science building.

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