Biennial blooming to arrive soon for EIU’s ‘corpse flower’
Forthcoming flowering for EIU’s Titan Arum, also known as the "corpse flower," appeared imminent, greenhouse manager Steven Malehorn said recently, as the plant that has bloomed every other year since 2008 showed signs of readiness.
With a potential maximum height of seven feet and circumference of one yard, the corpse flower is famous for its unpleasant and very strong “roadkill” odor, which attracts flies for pollination purposes. Based on its past performance, Malehorn estimated a mid-afternoon bloom time, but noted that the plant is known to operate by its own schedule.
“The exact date can't be known until about a day or so before it actually blooms,” he said. “But when it does bloom, it will happen … within hours -- and the bloom will only last one night."
In “blooming” years, the public is able to view the pungent specimen in Eastern Illinois University’s H.F. Thut Greenhouse from 4-7 p.m. or 9 a.m. through 6 p.m., depending on actual bloom time. In 2014, approximately 800 visitors entered the greenhouse to see and sniff the giant plant, while an additional 6,000 witnessed the event “safely” — that is, without the aroma — via a live Internet feed.