Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Jan. 31, 2023

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WSU Vancouver corpse flower to bloom again

By , Columbian staff writer

A new growth from Titan VanCoug — Washington State University Vancouver’s infamous resident corpse flower — is expected to bloom later this month.

The plant last bloomed in July of 2019: a pungent yet awe-inspiring display that managed to draw an estimated 20,000 visitors over a two-and-a-half day period.

Though it’s not yet certain when exactly the plant will bloom this time around, WSU Vancouver spokesperson Brenda Alling said interested visitors can expect it to happen sometime between Aug. 11 and Aug. 25. When it does, the school will send out a press release and keep it on display outside for one day only.

“It’s like planning a party for ‘I don’t know how many people’ on ‘I don’t know what day,” Alling said, laughing.

Like in 2019, professors will hold hourly talks explaining the significance of the plant and the reasoning behind the awful stench that gives the corpse flower its name. On-campus parking fees will be waived that day.

In early July, one of four growths from the original plant, which has been cared for and maintained by professor emeritus Steve Sylvester for over 20 years, began sprouting. On July 13, it was 2.5 inches tall; today, it’s anticipated to be nearly four feet tall.

The bloom is shocking, Alling said, considering that the original plant took about 17 years to bloom and mold concerns left them uncertain if or when one of the clones might ever bloom again.

The corpse flower, officially referenced as ‘titan arum,’ is listed as an endangered species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Less than 1,000 of such plants are estimated to be left living in the wild across the world.

More information can be found at https://www.vancouver.wsu.edu/titan-vancoug-live-bloom and is expected to be updated in the coming days.