Eastern’s “Corpse Flower” to bloom

Amanda Wilkinson

Staff Report

Eastern’s Titan Arum, aka Corpse Flower, is set to bloom, gracing campus with an intense smell that can be smelled a mile away, according to a university press release.

Steven Malehorn, manager of Eastern’s H.F. Thut Greenhouse, said the exact date can’t be known until the day or so before it blooms.

“But when it does bloom, it will happen fast — within hours — and the bloom will only last one night,” he said.

Based on the plant’s past four blooms, it is estimated that the plant will bloom “at 2:30 p.m. Monday, June 27, plus or minus two days.”

The developing flower (technically an inflorescence) could grow to be seven feet tall and three feet wide, and will definitely smell “nasty,” Malehorn said

The odor is at its strongest for just a few hours before gradually diminishing.  The powerful scent is used to attract flies which pollinate the flowers.

The bloom should remain at its peak for roughly 12 hours – to the point when the spathe starts to gradually close.  Then, over the next few days, the giant flower will slowly collapse.

The developing flower can be viewed anytime through the south window of the Thut Greenhouse, located near the Life Sciences Building and just west of Buzzard Hall on campus. Beginning Monday, the greenhouse will be open from 4 -7 p.m. daily for the duration of the event. On the day of the bloom, the greenhouse will be open until midnight, and again from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. the day following the bloom.

Visitors will enter the greenhouse through the east door.  Wheelchair access into the building will be through the south courtyard gate and greenhouse west door.

Live streaming video of the event will be available at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/corpse-flower-bloom.  Those interested can follow the greenhouse at http://twitter.com/ThutGreenhouse for up-to-the-minute bloom information.  For other information, including a daily blog, photos and parking information, go to http://www.eiu.edu/grnhouse/titan_arum.php.

About 800 individuals visited the greenhouse in 2014 to smell and see the plant in person.  Another 6,000 or so “safely” viewed the plant via the Internet through the live feed.

Those with questions can contact Steven Malehorn at 217-581-3126 or at [email protected] Monday through Friday.