Dartmouth’s 15-year-old specimen of Amorphophallus titanum lives in the Dartmouth Life Sciences Greenhouse and has been affectionately named “Morphy.” Morphy will open on the afternoon of Thursday, November 1. The greenhouse will be open from 2 pm to 7 pm today, and Friday, November 2. The greenhouse will also be open on Saturday, November 3 from 10 am to 3 pm. Once open, its odor will be the strongest for only a day or so and will dissipate several days after it blooms.
Also known as a titan arum, the plant grows to a height of six to nine feet. It is rare, even in its native Sumatran rainforests. Its flower—the largest in the world—appears as a single bloom, exhibiting striking color, deep green on the outside and dark burgundy on the inside. Its single frilly-edged petal encircles the thick, fleshy central stalk that resembles a gigantic phallus.
The plant is called the corpse flower because when in full bloom it smells bad—like rotting flesh. But its odor does attract pollinators like flies and beetles in the wild. In spite of its aromatic essence, it has a committed following among horticulturalists. This summer, only seven flowers were reported to have bloomed in the U.S.
In case you missed it, here’s a time-lapse video of Morphy blooming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5BOQb5P8Is
Here’s the link to the live webcam of Morphy: