Hold your noses: D.C. Smith’s Titan Arum is poised to bloom

In the DC Smith Conservatory there is an air of quiet excitement as we wait for our resident Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanum) to bloom. The plant grew from a seed from Big Bucky, the first Titan Arum to flower on campus in 2001. It’ll be the first time the 9-year old plant has bloomed.

The Titan Arum is native to Sumatra and is famous for the repulsive odor given off by the mature bloom.  The plant grows from a large tuber and each season sprouts either a single leaf (up to 12 feet tall) or a flowering stalk.  On September 6 greenhouse staff determined that this season’s sprout was in fact our first flower.  The stalk will grow quickly, it has already put on over 14 inches in less than a week.  We have yet to determine the actual date of bloom (and smell), but will be sure to keep the college updated. We expect the flower to open sometime before the end of next week.

Visitors are always welcome in the DC Smith Conservatory and Greenhouse (on the corner of Babcock and Linden Drives) during regular university hours.

For more information on the Titan Arum, check out this Department of Botany Webpage

Johanna Oosterwyk
DC Smith Greenhouse Manager