Note: I shot the above video when a different Corpse Flower bloomed last year. I recommend swinging by UC Davis to see it if you get a chance--if anything just to meet Ernesto (the guy in the video). He makes it a lot of fun.
Here’s more information about Amorphophallus titanium, courtesty of the UC Davis Dateline staff:
There’s a big stink coming to the Botanical Conservatory: a titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum), or giant corpse flower, is about to bloom.
The bloom will be the first for the plant named Tammy the Titan and the conservatory’s eighth titan arum bloom since Ted the Titan smelled up the place in 2003. Blooms like these make news for a couple of reasons: the odor, of course; the size of the plants; and because the blooms happen rarely in cultivated plants.
Ernesto Sandoval, conservatory director, had been expecting Tammy's bloom as early as Thursday — but it had not happened yet. He rated the chance of the bloom happening today (June 15) at 80 percent to 85 percent, and, if not, today, perhaps some time this weekend. Follow the UC Davis titan arums on Facebook.
The greenhouse will be open to visitors until midnight on the day the plant blooms, and until 9 the following night, Sandoval said. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.
Titan arum blooms, which last for only about 36 hours, give off a pungent aroma akin to rotting meat — as a way to attract pollinators.
Titan arums come from the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. The plant spends most of its life as an underground stem called a corm. Once a year, the plant puts out a single, big green leaf that lasts about six months. Some years, a spike emerges — in Tammy's case, about 45 inches tall, which is on the small side.
The bloom occurs when the spike, or spadix, produces several hundred tiny flowers, male and female, at the narrow base of the spadix where it joins a funnel-shaped leaf called a spathe.
The conservatory is on Kleiber Hall Drive, which cuts off Hutchison Drive just east of the parking garage. Click here for a map, directions and parking suggestions.