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Virginia Tech's smelly 'corpse plant' due to bloom Aug. 4

om. To add to the plant's humiliation, its pollinators include carrion beetles and flesh flies.

In spite of the plant's long preparation for its flowery display, the blooms last, at best, two to three days, so visitors will have to be vigilant to see and smell it. A flowering stalk can be seven to 12 feet in height and three to four feet in diameter. After the bloom dies, a leaf stalk resembling a tree sapling will begin to emerge.

The plant was first discovered in 1878 in Indonesia, first cultivated at the Royal Botanic Gardens in England in 1887. The titan arum is in the same plant family as familiar house plants such as Dieffenbachia, Philodendrons, and Anthuriums.

To get to the greenhouse from Rt. 460, turn onto the Virginia Tech campus at Southgate Drive, turn left on Duck Pond Road, and right on Washington Street. Very shortly, you will see the greenhouses on the right. After taking the road into the greenhouse complex and reaching a gravel section between the glass and fiberglass greenhouses, stop at the first fiberglass greenhouse, number F-6, where the plant is located. Or follow your nose.


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Contact: Sally Harris
slharris@vt.edu
540-231-6759
Virginia Tech
2-Aug-2004


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