Swarthmore's Amorphophallus titanum
See it bloom LIVE with our video stream.
The Swarthmore College Department of Biology is proud to announce its first Titan Arum is ready to bloom!
Swarthmore College has been home to our Titan Arum for over eight years, and up until now, it has only produced a single leaf. This year the corm weighed in at around 70 pounds, indicating it may be ready to produce a bloom. After discovering our Titan was producing a flower, The Biology Club quickly went into gear, coordinating a plant naming contest. The votes were tallied, and our plant was affectionately named "Planty McPlantface."
What is a Titan Arum?
The Amorphophallus titanum, commonly known as the Corpse Flower, is the largest inflorescence in the world, growing up to 6 to 8 feet in height and weighing over 120 pounds. A native of the equatorial rainforests on the island of Sumatra, this plant rarely flowers, whether in the wild or a greenhouse. The plant takes up to 10 years or more to store enough energy to produce a bloom.
Why is it so special?
The Titan Arum is a tough plant to cultivate and even far more challenging to predict flowering. Titans require special growing conditions. The plant in its leaf phase can grow as tall as 20 feet. Temperatures must be maintained at or around 90 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity at or around 80%. When Planty McPlantface reemerged as a flower bud, it grew fast, on average 4 inches a day! One of the unique characteristics of this plant is the burst of putrid scent the flower releases over a short period. This scent will attract the essential insects required for pollination.
You can see it bloom LIVE with our video stream.