The corpse flower unfurled its stately bloom at the UW Botany greenhouse tonight and was in full splendor by 10 p.m.
The stench was just starting to stoke up — the flower attracts pollinating insects by smelling like carrion — and had not yet reached its full power. Said to make the eyes water, it should reach full power in the middle of the night tonight. The greenhouse is open til 11 tonight, and reopens for visitors at 8 a.m. tomorrow, when the flower will still be stinky. The scent will fade, but the bloom still be well worth a visit all week. .
And is it ever. A line of admirers snaked out the door to see the flower, with people waiting half and hour and longer for their chance to come in the steamy greenhouse, and climb a step ladder to peer inside the depths of the flower’s giant bloom. It’s that big.
Its outlandish, Alice in Wonderland appearance is the draw, figures Doug Ewing, who with a team of greenhouse techs at the greenhouse coaxed the flower into bloom after two and a half years of dormancy.
It could be years before the flower blooms again, so see it now!
Boooooooo! I literally work right next to this greenhouse, but I’m out of town for a week! Curse my timing. And the opportunity to be a geeky biologist, lost. Perhaps this would be a good time to get something growing in my own life. I have a friend who has a greenhouse heating situation going on so he can grow some tropical plants…bet they haven’t got anything as fancy as the corpse flower, though!
But I guess that’s the beauty of having your own greenhouse. You’re not limited to just growing one plant or seed. You have the chance to be able to grow whatever you want, whenever you want. Isn’t it magical? As well as the greenhouse heating system that my friend has really introduced to his tropical plants, he’s also been thinking about incorporating a type of diffusion greenhouse plastic (learn more here) that reduces shadows so the plants have access to an even distribution of light throughout the day. This will allow the plants or crops to avoid less stress during the growing process. Who knew it was this complicated? I didn’t. But for some reason, I’m still drawn to the idea of growing my own plants and things in my own greenhouse if I ever get around to it. So, I think I’ll pick his brains for ideas for my little home, perhaps.