On my lunch break today I visited the blooming corpse flower at the Rollins College greenhouse in Winter Park, FL. They have been caring for the plant for 11 years and its bloom only lasts about 36 hours. It is considered a rare event as it only blooms once every 9-12 years, and only about 200 have bloomed under cultivation worldwide since its western discovery in the late 1800s. It is about 5' tall and smells like something familiar...I couldn't quite place it at the moment, but my colleague and fellow petstore alumnus, L, helped me quickly: small frozen critters (like rats) that are about to turn rancid. The flower uses the nasty odor to attract cadaver flies and carrion beetles which pollinate the plant. I had to stick my nose over the edge of the petals to smell it, I later found out it was past its peak smelly-time. This link leads to a live streaming video.
|(And...Part of my diligent note-taking at the meeting this morning)|