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Titan Arum

June 25, 2009

After 14 years a Titan Arum (also called Giant Corpse Flower) in San Francisco State University’s Biology Department teaching collection is finally flowering. The Titan Arum’s scientific name is Amorphophallus titanum and it is in the same plant family as the Calla Lily, but the inflorescence can be huge, up to 8 ft., and the outside is covered with green spots while the inside is a velvety purple. For 28 to 48 hours, while the “flower” is at its peak, a terrible stench is emitted to draw flies that act to pollinate these “big stinkers” in their South East Asian homeland. The SFSU Biology Department and Greenhouse Manager, Martin Grantham, invite the public to come witness this unusual botanical event. The first viewing will be this Thursday, June 25th, from 2 to 6 PM. Another will be scheduled next week. Check out for pics, future viewings, and the time for the big event when the “flower” opens and the public can stop by and “take a whiff.”

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