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 Genome Duplication Drives Evolution of Species
25.09.2018 | Universität Zürich

nachricht Why it doesn’t get dark when you blink
25.09.2018 | Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH - Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Hygiene at your fingertips with the new CleanHand Network

The Fraunhofer FEP has been involved in developing processes and equipment for cleaning, sterilization, and surface modification for decades. The CleanHand Network for development of systems and technologies to clean surfaces, materials, and objects was established in May 2018 to bundle the expertise of many partnering organizations. As a partner in the CleanHand Network, Fraunhofer FEP will present the Network and current research topics of the Institute in the field of hygiene and cleaning at the parts2clean trade fair, October 23-25, 2018 in Stuttgart, at the booth of the Fraunhofer Cleaning Technology Alliance (Hall 5, Booth C31).

Test reports and studies on the cleanliness of European motorway rest areas, hotel beds, and outdoor pools increasingly appear in the press, especially during...

Im Focus: Scientists present new observations to understand the phase transition in quantum chromodynamics

The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.

This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.

Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...

Im Focus: Patented nanostructure for solar cells: Rough optics, smooth surface

Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.

"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...

Im Focus: New soft coral species discovered in Panama

A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.

Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...

Im Focus: New devices based on rust could reduce excess heat in computers

Physicists explore long-distance information transmission in antiferromagnetic iron oxide

Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

"Boston calling": TU Berlin and the Weizenbaum Institute organize a conference in USA

21.09.2018 | Event News

One of the world’s most prominent strategic forums for global health held in Berlin in October 2018

03.09.2018 | Event News

4th Intelligent Materials - European Symposium on Intelligent Materials

27.08.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Why it doesn’t get dark when you blink

25.09.2018 | Life Sciences

Genome Duplication Drives Evolution of Species

25.09.2018 | Life Sciences

Desert ants have an amazing odor memory

25.09.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>