UW-Madison: Corpse flower to bloom at UW-Madison this week

CONTACT: Johanna Oosterwyk, [email protected], 608-262-3844

MADISON – The Titan Arum plant, or corpse flower, in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s D.C. Smith Greenhouse is set to bloom this week.

The mature flower of the Titan Arum plant is known for the repulsive smell it gives off, a scent akin to rotting meat that’s designed to attract the carrion beetles and flesh flies that typically pollinate the plant.

The D.C. Smith Greenhouse’s plant started giving off a mild foul odor on Monday morning, and greenhouse manager Johanna Oosterwyk predicts the bloom will likely start this Tuesday or Wednesday. Once it starts, the flower will last between 24 and 48 hours before it collapses.

Oosterwyk will post updates on the D.C. Smith Greenhouse’s Facebook Page and plans to keep the greenhouse open until 9 p.m. each evening while the plant is in bloom.

This will be the D.C. Smith Greenhouse plant’s second bloom. It grew from a seed collected from the UW Botany Greenhouse’s “Big Bucky” plant in 2001 and bloomed for the first time in September 2010. After that it went dormant for awhile, then put up a single leaf for about 18 months, and then went dormant again until this past spring. The current bloom started to emerge in June as a small bud.

The Titan Arum is on display in the D.C. Smith Greenhouse’s conservatory, at 465 Babcock Drive. Parking is available at nearby Lot 36, at 1645 Observatory Drive.
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Nicole Miller, [email protected], 608-262-3636