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Blooming of SUNY ESF’s own rare ‘corpse flower’ caught on video

A rare plant species known as the ‘Corpse flower’ bloomed last week at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse.

The corpse flower, or Titan arum (Amorphophallus titanium), is a unique and elusive plant species that blooms roughly once every five years. When fully open, the plant releases an odor similar to that of a rotting corpse, hence the plant’s nickname.

ESF’s corpse flower bloomed last week. A full time lapse video of the flower blooming can be viewed below.

SUNY ESF’s corpse flower blooms: Front-view (video)


No ‘rhyme or reason’ as to when plant blooms

About five years ago, ESF received four “softball-sized” corpse flower tubers from The Ohio State University, said ESF in a release.

There is “no rhyme or reason” as to when the plant blooms, explained greenhouse manager Terry Ettinger.

The Corpse Flower is known to bloom at night and remains in bloom for a fleeting 24 hours.

The first flower bud emerged from the largest dormant tuber in early July of this year. At first, Ettinger wasn’t sure it was a flower bud, but by the Fourth of July, the bud had developed to a point where it could not be denied.


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DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

On July 7, Ettinger measured the plant to find it was 36 inches tall.

Last Wednesday, July 13, the corpse flower bloomed.

Both time lapse videos cover a 72-hour period from 9 a.m on Tuesday, July 12 to 9 a.m. on Friday, July 15.

A full lapse of the flower in bloom from a different angle can be viewed below.

ESF corpse flower blooms: Top-view (video)


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