News Releases
Posted: 9/20/2018 | Print Friendly Version

Date: September 20, 2018

Contact: Missouri Botanical Garden Public Relations Dept.

Phone: (314) 577-0286(media use only)

Email: cmartin@mobot.org (media use only)

For Immediate Release

RARE TITAN ARUM a.k.a. “CORPSE FLOWER” SET TO BLOOM

AT THE MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN

            (ST. LOUIS):  A unique Amorphophallus titanum is set to bloom at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Commonly known as titan arum or the “corpse flower,” it is a large, fast-growing plant in the Aroid family. Few of these plants exist in cultivation, and they bloom only rarely and under just the right conditions. On the infrequent occasion that a titan arum comes into flower, the intense, foul odor, emitted from a tall spike of small crowded flowers, often lasts less than a few days.     

     
            Every year or two, the plant sends up one long, rolled-up leaf that unfurls its umbrella-like blade during a period of about three weeks. The leaf typically lives for approximately one year before the plant goes into a dormant period that lasts from a few months to a year. The inflorescence, a giant flowering structure, opens quickly; often in just a couple of hours. It maintains its full form for about three to five days, with peak bloom (and the awful odor) lasting about 24 hours.  

The Garden received five tubers from Huntington in April 2008. Since 2012, the Garden has hosted an unprecedented eight flowerings of Amorphophallus titanum plants. The most recent one, Octavia, bloomed on July 9, 2017.

Octavia came from one of the original tubers that split in two in October 2013. The latest bloom, named “Nona,” the Latin word for ninth, is the other tuber from the split, making it genetically identical to Octavia. Nona’s current weight is 81 pounds. 

            The titan arum is located in the Linnean House inside the Garden. Daytime viewing is included with Missouri Botanical Garden admission of $12 for adults and free for children ages 12 and under. St. Louis City and County residents enjoy discounted admission of $6 and free admission on most Wednesday and Saturday mornings until noon. Missouri Botanical Garden members are free.

            The Garden will open for evening viewing once the inflorescence – the flowering structure – opens. The corpse flower usually opens quickly and in the late afternoon with the peak bloom usually occurring after dark. People are strongly encouraged to follow the Garden on Twitter to watch for notification of the bloom.

For complete information visit: www.mobot.org/corpseflower.

The Missouri Botanical Garden is located at 4344 Shaw Blvd. in south St. Louis, accessible from Interstate 44 at the Vandeventer exit and from Interstate 64 at the Kingshighway North and South exit. Free parking is available on site and two blocks west at the corner of Shaw and Vandeventer.

For general information, visit www.mobot.org or call (314) 577‑5100 (toll-free, 1‑800‑642‑8842). Follow the Garden on Facebook and Twitter at www.facebook.com/missouribotanicalgarden and http://twitter.com/mobotnews.


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NOTE: Digital images available by request or via Photo Shelter. Download media materials at www.mobot.org/media

 

The Missouri Botanical Garden’s mission is “to discover and share knowledge about plants and their environment in order to preserve and enrich life.” Today, 159 years after opening, the Missouri Botanical Garden is a National Historic Landmark and a center for science, conservation, education and horticultural display.