Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rare Flower -- "Corpse Flower" -- Set to Bloom

27.04.2010
A rare flower housed in Western Illinois University's Biological Sciences Botany Greenhouse is set to bloom within the next week, making it part of a relatively small elite group of such flowers that have bloomed in cultivation since the 1880s.

According to Jeff Hillyer, greenhouse gardner II, the Titan Arum – also known as the "Corpse Flower" thanks to a less-than-pleasant smell – is a member of the Araceae family that includes plants such as Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Calla Lilly and Philodendron. The WIU plant recently grew nearly 4 inches in a 24-hour period, he noted. It is one of four Titan Arums growing in the greenhouse.


Native to the equatorial rainforests of central Sumatra in western Indonesia, the WIU Titans were initially acquired as seeds from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 2002. Hillyer explained that one of Wisconsin's Titans, Big Bucky, was the ovule donor and the pollen donor was Mr. Magnificent from the Marie Selby Botanical Garden in Sarasota, FL. The seeds for both of these plants were collected in 1993 by James Symon in Sumatra while filming for Sir David Attenborough's BBC documentary "The Private Life Of Plants." The WIU plants are among the first generation of plants cultivated in the U.S.

"When one of these plants bloomed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, more than 30,000 people viewed its splendor. It's extremely exciting that Western's greenhouse is housing the first generation of this flower grown in the U.S.," Hillyer noted. "It is pretty cool to have it in all three conditions: dormant, vegetative growth and flowering, at the same time for all to see. This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to work with a rare species."

Titan Arum was first discovered in 1878 by Italian botanist Odoardo Beccari. He collected seeds which were provided to England's Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, which recorded the first bloom of this species in cultivation in 1889. The first bloom of this species in the United States occurred at the New York Botanical Gardens in June 1937.

"For most of its life, the Titan Arum grows vegetatively, producing a single, compound umbrella-like leaf. In the wild, the plant can reach 20 feet tall and 15 feet across. The Titans in the WIU Botany Greenhouse will only get about half that in size," Hillyer explained.

The bloom (or inflorescence) is composed of thousands of flowers and the nickname, Corpse Flower, comes from the blooms' odor that smells like rotting meat. In its native environment, the Titan Arum is pollinated by carrion beetles and flesh flies, which are attracted to the horrendous odor.

To view the Titum Arum, visit the WIU Botany Greenhouse from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or keep track of the Arum's blooming process through Hillyer's blog at http://wiubotanygreenhouse.blogspot.com.

The 4,500-square-foot Botany Greenhouse, which opened in 1964, is located just south of Waggoner Hall on the WIU-Macomb campus. Plants from more than 100 families are grown in the greenhouse for teaching and research with various biology classes, as well as classes from the departments of agriculture, art and recreation, park and tourism administration.

Jeff Hillyer | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.wiu.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

nachricht Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>