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Monday, January 18, 2010

Milwaukee Public Museum Corpse Flower is Blooming

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The titan arum otherwise known as the corpse flower has started blooming over the weekend at the Milwaukee Public Museum. The plant, which grows in the wilds of the rain forest of Indonesian Island of Sumatra, is a seven-foot plant that gives off a fowl order resembling rotting flesh.

The flower smells so much that it is well known for making people gag when it is in bloom, which in some cases is every 15 years or so. The flower only lasts for a few days, but is a real treat for people to see because it is not something you see or smell every day. Some people will only see this once in their lifetime.

In the wild, the flower with the smell of rotting flesh attracts sweet bees and other pollinators during the two days that it is open. The plant is an offset of the plant grown at the University of Madison. The seed was given to the museum in August 2002. The plant is 6 ½ years old and was expected to flower this year, but no one knew exactly when until January 4, 2010, when the plant started showing signs.

The next time the corpse plant will bloom, could be as long as 15 years down the road. If you live close to Milwaukee or can get there soon, you see an amazing flower with the incredibly horrid smell. Since the flower does not last very long, it is surely going to be the top attraction at the museum over the next few days.

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