Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Virginia Tech’s smelly ’corpse plant’ due to bloom Aug. 4

03.08.2004


Virginia Tech has a second Amorphophallus titanum, or "corpse plant," ready to bloom and emit its intensely powerful stench. People are invited to tie bandanas over their noses and come see the rare and unusual plant.




The horticulture greenhouse containing the plant is open to visitors Monday through Friday, July 26-30, and August 2-6, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The likely date for the plant to bloom is Wednesday, Aug. 4, said Scott Rapier, greenhouse manager in the Department of Horticulture in Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; follow the plant’s progress on the web at http://www.hort.vt.edu/VTHG/ if you want to see it on the date it blooms.

Although a blooming Amorphophallus titanum, or titan arum, is rarely seen, Virginia Tech’s first bloomed in August 2002, drawing crowds who braved the odor and the football traffic to see it. The smelly plant is rare because it puts forth one blossom every four to 10 years. This year, the second plant, located in Virginia Tech’s greenhouse complex, should bloom ahead of football traffic, making it easier for the public to visit the greenhouse. The first of these plants in the United States bloomed in 1937 at the New York Botanical Garden, and since, only about 20 have bloomed in this country.


In 1999, when the plant bloomed in the Huntington Botanical Garden in California, more than 76,000 visitors held their noses and went to see it. In Fairchild Garden in Florida, 5,500 visitors made the trek to see the infamous blossom; and at the Botanic Garden of the University of Bonn, Germany, the line to see the flowering titan arum extended more than two miles.

The plant invests a lot of energy during blooming to heat up the sulfur-based compound in the flower stalk so the carrion-like odor will spread several feet away from the plant to attract pollinators. The plant blooms seldom because of the amount of energy needed to bloom. To add to the plant’s humiliation, its pollinators include carrion beetles and flesh flies.

In spite of the plant’s long preparation for its flowery display, the blooms last, at best, two to three days, so visitors will have to be vigilant to see and smell it. A flowering stalk can be seven to 12 feet in height and three to four feet in diameter. After the bloom dies, a leaf stalk resembling a tree sapling will begin to emerge.

The plant was first discovered in 1878 in Indonesia, first cultivated at the Royal Botanic Gardens in England in 1887. The titan arum is in the same plant family as familiar house plants such as Dieffenbachia, Philodendrons, and Anthuriums.

To get to the greenhouse from Rt. 460, turn onto the Virginia Tech campus at Southgate Drive, turn left on Duck Pond Road, and right on Washington Street. Very shortly, you will see the greenhouses on the right. After taking the road into the greenhouse complex and reaching a gravel section between the glass and fiberglass greenhouses, stop at the first fiberglass greenhouse, number F-6, where the plant is located. Or follow your nose.

Sally Harris | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vt.edu
http://www.hort.vt.edu/VTHG/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The Secret of the Rock Drawings
24.05.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie

nachricht Chemical juggling with three particles
24.05.2019 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New studies increase confidence in NASA's measure of Earth's temperature

A new assessment of NASA's record of global temperatures revealed that the agency's estimate of Earth's long-term temperature rise in recent decades is accurate to within less than a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, providing confidence that past and future research is correctly capturing rising surface temperatures.

The most complete assessment ever of statistical uncertainty within the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP) data product shows that the annual values...

Im Focus: The geometry of an electron determined for the first time

Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.

The spin of an electron is a promising candidate for use as the smallest information unit (qubit) of a quantum computer. Controlling and switching this spin or...

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

On Mars, sands shift to a different drum

24.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Piedmont Atlanta first in Georgia to offer new minimally invasive treatment for emphysema

24.05.2019 | Medical Engineering

Chemical juggling with three particles

24.05.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>