The rare corpse flower housed at Washington State University Vancouver is blooming. If you want to take a look and a whiff, visitation hours are 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Friday, June 30. Titan VanCoug, as the corpse flower is known on campus, is located in the Science and Engineering Building east ground floor entrance. Parking is free Friday only. Find driving directions and a campus map at vancouver.wsu.edu/campus-map-directions. Follow signs to parking and the viewing area.
Corpse flower blooms come and go quickly—just 24 – 48 hours. When they bloom, they emit an odor that is often described as rotting flesh. The odor attracts pollinators such as dung beetles and flesh flies that help ensure the continuation of the species.
Years ago, the plant’s corm (tuber) cloned. Now four plants reside in one pot. At this time, you can see a leaf, fruit from the 2022 bloom and the 2023 bloom. Seeing the plants in three different life stages at one time is unusual.
If you would like to forgo the smell of rotting flesh, you can see the bloom on the Titan VanCoug webcam vancouver.wsu.edu.
Titan VanCoug swag is for sale—T-shirts ($20) and totes ($10)—in the main level lobby of the Science and Engineering Building while supplies last.
About the corpse flower
The corpse flower (Latin name Amorphophallus titanum, also known as titan arum) is native to the limestone hills of Sumatra, Indonesia’s rainforests, the only place in the world where it naturally grows. They are among the world’s largest and rarest flowering structures. These plants are uncommon in cultivation. They bloom rarely—typically after seven to 10 years of growth and just once every four years or so afterward throughout a 40-year expected life span.
About Titan VanCoug
Titan VanCoug was raised by Professor Emeritus Steve Sylvester. He planted a seed from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s titan arum plant, named Big Bucky, in 2002. He cultivated it in a pot on his desk until it grew too large to contain in such a small space. It has grown in a stairwell in WSU Vancouver’s Science and Engineering Building for some time. A late bloomer at 17, Titan VanCoug’s first bloom in 2019 was most likely delayed because its corm (tuber) cloned. A second bloom occurred in 2022.
Learn more by visiting vancouver.wsu.edu/titan-vancoug-live-bloom
Source: Washington State University