Big stink this week in the greenhouse

The air was filled with anticipation on Monday in the D.C. Smith greenhouse, but by midweek it should be filled with something else: the odor of rotting meat. The Titan Arum—a.k.a. corpse flower—located in the greenhouse atrium should bloom any day now, and when it does, things will get pungent. The Titan Arum is native to Sumatra and famous for the repulsive odor its flower gives off when it blooms. The scent is reminiscent of rotting meat and is designed to attract the carrion beetles and flesh flies that pollinate the plant. Greenhouse manager Johanna Oosterwyk describes how it all works in this podcast on the CALS News website. While the bloom is underway, conservatory hours will be extended until 8:30 p.m., so that everybody can get a good whiff. If you want to see the flower but skip the smell, the plant is visible from the sidewalk. The greenhouse is at the corner of Linden and Babcock Drives.