My Virtual Garden Cat especially for my sisters and daughter

Monday, May 2, 2011

Follow That Smell!

It's well worth it! On April 23rd, a remarkable plant called Amorphophallus titanum, or Titan arum, was in bloom on the campus of The Ohio State University. Its flower is referred to as the Corpse Flower because it smells horrible, hold your nose horrible. This smell lures flies and carrion beetles that collect pollen. Well, what would make anyone want to see, or smell this flower? According to an article in the Columbus Dispatch, this plant is from the Indonesian Rain Forest and is over 5 feet tall. The plant has a dark purple flower that is 3 feet wide and its bloom only last a couple of days and then withers. During those few days the smell is at its worst. According to the article, this plant is on the verge of extinction because of habitat destruction. Researchers are hand pollinating this plant to help keep it alive so it can some day be returned to its habitat. Ohio State held open times for the curious. My husband was one of them. Armed with a camera, off to Ohio State he went, hoping to see the full glory of this large flower. Well, he got there a few days after it bloomed and the flower was already in decline, but still very impressive. Ohio State provided a web cam, so when my husband arrived he called me and I captured a still from the web cam with him in the picture. LinkClick here for a time lapse of this flower courtesy of the Columbus Dispatch.

Below are some of the pictures that my husband took.

Informational signs provided by The Ohio State University's Biological Sciences Greenhouse

A still picture of my husband and the Arum (the flower was almost closed)

(captured via web cam)

A leaf of the plant

Check out the sheer size of this plant!

The flower just a few days after it bloomed

This section of the plant was cut out so material could be removed for pollination and allow visitors to get a good look inside.

A closer look inside the spadix

Approximately a week and a half after the plant bloomed

(captured via web cam)

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