Greenhouse visiting hours extended as Cornell's second Titan Arum plant begins to bloom

June 15, 2015 by Rachel Cera

"Wee Stinky," Cornell's odiferous plant that has delighted countless visitors when it bloomed in 2012 and again in 2014, has a sibling -- and "Carolus" is beginning to open. Greenhouse hours have been extended on Monday until 10pm for visitors.

Cornell's second Titan Arum has begun to open. Photo provided.Cornell's second Titan Arum has begun to open. Photo provided.The plant was named after Carolus Linnæus, the 18th Century Swedish botanist who laid the foundations of the modern biological naming system known as binomial nomenclature, says Ed Cobb, research support specialist in the Plant Biology Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “It’s also in honor of Carol Bader, the greenhouse grower who nurtured these plants for nearly ten years, but passed away before they bloomed.”

As of Friday, Carolus's inflorescence was more than 70 inches tall, almost as tall as Wee Stinky when it last flowered last November. “Even though we’ve learned a lot from two previous flowerings, this is a different plant, the greenhouse is warmer and the weather is sunnier," says Andrew Leed, greenhouse manager for the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station. "Things could move faster this time.”

The huge plants don't always flower in greenhouses. Cornell experts say flowering time is typically only two days, and "the bloom emits a powerful scent that smells like rotting meat to attract carrion flies and other insects that spread pollen to other Titan Arums."

Cornell encourages visitors to enter the Kenneth Post Laboratory Greenhouses through the Tower Road doors, keeping in mind that much of Tower Road on central campus is closed for utility work.

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