Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus Titanum)

Jack Elliott's Santa Barbara Adventure

Amorphophallus titanum corpse flower titan arumPost peak bloom, starting to wilt. It’s a fleeting display lasting only hours.

I went out to the University of California, Santa Barbara to see the corpse flower in bloom, a titan arum named “Chanel.” In the wild it’s a rare species which is endemic to western Sumatra, Indonesia, and it’s said to produce the largest inflorescence in the world.

Chanel, which reached a height of 4’10”, was grown from a seed harvested from the corpse flower named “Tiny” which bloomed at UCSB in 2002. When I saw Tiny in bloom at that time there was only a few other people there to take a gander.

That was before the advent of Facebook. This time a special Facebook page was set up to chronicle the bloom cycle of Chanel and it quickly racked up over one thousand “likes” and countless other followers. A webcam provided online viewers still photos taken…

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