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e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

ESF's Corpse Flower Blooms 7/14/2022

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About five years ago, ESF received four softball-sized Titan arum (Amorphophallus titanium) tubers from The Ohio State University. We are nearing the first bloom event from one of the original tubers that is now over a foot in diameter and weighs more than 30 pounds!

This unique plant produces the largest-known unbranched inflorescence (complete flower head) in the plant kingdom. When fully open it releases a unique-if not disgusting-rotting corpse odor which gives the plant a second common name, Corpse Flower.

The flower bud first emerged from the largest dormant tuber about two weeks ago. At the time, Terry Ettinger, greenhouse manager, wasn't sure it was a flower bud. However, by Monday morning, July 4, it had developed to the point where there was no question. On July 7, Terry measured from the soil surface to the tip of the spathe (a large sheathing bract enclosing the flower cluster) to find it was 36 inches tall.

He estimates the spathe will top out between 55 and 65 inches when the inflorescence opens.

Because it takes a tremendous amount of energy, the plant only blooms once every five or so years and there's "no rhyme or reason" to when it will bloom only that it blooms at night and the bloom lasts a mere 24 hours.

ESF's corpse flower bloomed on July 13th. Due to limited space, the public viewing of the corpse flower are not allowed at this time, but a time lapse will be released when the bloom process has completed.