A new growth of Titan VanCoug – the infamous resident corpse flower at Washington State University in Vancouver – is expected to bloom later this month.
The plant last bloomed in July 2019: a pungent but impressive display that managed to attract around 20,000 visitors over a period of two and a half days.
While it’s not yet known exactly when the plant will bloom this time around, WSU Vancouver spokeswoman Brenda Alling said interested visitors can expect it to happen between August 11. and August 25. When this is the case, the school will send out a press release. and keep it exposed outdoors for one day only.
“It’s like planning a party for ‘I don’t know how many people’ on ‘I don’t know what day,'” Alling said with a laugh.
As in 2019, professors will hold hourly lectures explaining the importance of the plant and the reasoning behind the dreadful smell that gives the corpse flower its name. On-campus parking fees will be waived that day.
In early July, one of four shoots from the original plant, which was tended and nurtured by Emeritus Professor Steve Sylvester for over 20 years, began to sprout. On July 13, he was 2.5 inches tall; today it is expected to be nearly four feet tall.
The flowering is shocking, Alling said, given that the original plant took about 17 years to flower and mold issues left them uncertain if or when any of the clones might flower again.
The corpse flower, officially referred to as ‘titan arum’, is listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It is estimated that less than 1,000 of these plants live in the wild in the world.
More information can be found at https://www.vancouver.wsu.edu/titan-vancoug-live-bloom and should be updated in the coming days.