Rare Corpse Flower Blooms at Cal Poly

For the first time ever, a Titan Arum, or corpse flower, bloomed at Cal Poly, and more than 3,000 people waited in line for a chance to view — and smell — the plant from July 9-11 at the horticulture greenhouses. A corpse flower’s bloom can grow more than 10 feet high and four feet in diameter. Horticulture and botany students have been growing the Amorphophallus titanum for several years, and this was the plant’s first flower in a decade. Corpse flowers are open for only two days. At its tallest, this bloom holds the record for the world’s largest unbranched cluster of flowers arranged on a stem, called an inflorescence. To attract the insects that pollinate the plant, the spathe acts like a funnel, sending out a foul aroma similar to that of rotting flesh.

Watch a timelapse video of the bloom.


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