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.

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.