At this time of year, we all start to get excited when we see signs of spring – and the growth of some plants and flowers that died during winter.
At Grand Valley State University, they are thrilled that one of their plants is blooming with a very smelly flower!
The “Corpse Flower” can be found at the greenhouse in Grand Valley. The plant is blooming for the first time since it moved to Grand Valley about seven years ago. The flower, Amorphophallus titanum, was a gift from Emeritus Professor of Biomedical Sciences Tim Strickler.
When the flower blooms, it gives off a very strong smell of rotting flesh. This stench is how plants attract flies that pollinate the plant.
The plant has a flowering cycle of once every seven to 10 years. When the flower opens – along with the scent – it also produces a deep burgundy bloom. The flower only blooms for about 24-36 hours.
For those who wish to see – and smell – the flower in person, the Grand Valley State Greenhouse will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. while the flower is still open. For visitors, the greenhouse is located in Kindschi Hall. Car parks G and F are the most practical car parks.
Grand Valley State University’s Corpse Flower isn’t the only flower of its kind in western Michigan. The Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park also have a Corpse Flower in their collection. The Frederik Meijer Gardens plant last bloomed July 12-14, 2018. It was the first time the plant had flowered since receiving it as a seedling in 2000. Staff had named the plant “Putricia”.
Here is a time lapse video of the Corpse Flower at Frederik Meijer Gardens in July 2018…
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