32,000 years ago, a squirrel buried some fruits from a flower related to the narrow-leafed campion
in a riverbank in Russia. Either the squirrel forgot, or got eaten itself, and the buried cache of fruits stayed, preserved by the permafrost. This year, Russian scientists discovered the cache, recovered the fruit, and thawed it out to see if they could recover the seeds. Some of the seeds did indeed germinate - and this winter, millennia after first growing on their parent plant, those seeds bloomed.
During the past 4 days, the Cockrell Butterfly Center
at the Houston Museum of Natural Science
has stayed open 24 hours to accommodate the record crowds
filing into the museum at all hours. Why? A rare Amorphophallus titanium
, aka “Corpse Flower,”
is finally about to bloom
. Now, Lois is not your average
, run-of-the-mill stinky
plant. Only 28 Corpse Flowers have bloomed in the US
, so Lois has become a local celebrity
with her own blog
, Flickr feed
, live webcam
. She even has her own playlist
, with songs such as “That Smell” by Lynyrd Skynrd, “I’m Comin’ Out” by Diana Ross and the classic “Smelly Cat” by Phoebe from Friends. And like any trendy Corpse Flower, Lois also has her own Twitter account
. She's also a bit of a diva
. Yet despite predictions, Lois still hasn't bloomed
as of Wednesday morning. In response, Lois makes excuses
, bad jokes
and snarky comments
Botanical Drawings for the Digital Age
can spend months on one of his botanical illustrations, and when he’s done, the plant looks like something that blossomed in outer space."
The glass flowers of Leopold Blaschka
were created to provide enduring botanical teaching models. During his lifetime 4,000 models were created; a selection of 17 specimens are currently on display at the Corning Museum of Glass.
MeFi has previously been treated
to the splendor of the Blaschka marine invertebrate
Beware, O unsuspecting traveler
; for the path you take shall surely lead to your doom
. The Galleria Carnivora
: A celebration of plants that kill. Also, learn how to cultivate your own Audreys with the help of the International Carnivorous Plant Society
(and check out
their Members Gallery
News from the world of plants
by way of the University of British Columbia Botanical Garden weblog. Beauty in science by way of the photo of the day.
Follow the blooming of the Corpseflower. The Titan opened about halfway during the course of the morning and afternoon yesterday, giving off stronger waves of odor as the day progressed. The peak odor and opening was in the early evening and by 10PM the pulses of odor became less strong.
The daily progress of the Amorphophallus Titanum.
Katinka Matson's scanned flower art
: technology lets the flowers speak. "...imagine a painter who could, like Vermeer, capture the quality of light that a camera can, but with the color of paints. That is what a scanner gives you.... In her flowers one can see every microscopic dew drop, leaf vein, and particle of pollen—in satisfying rich pigmented color....." (scroll down for images)
Say it with Amorphophallus titanum!
Looking for that special way to tell your loved one how much you care? Express your true feelings with the unforgettable aroma of a "rotting elephant corpse".
What's 95 inches tall, purple, and stinks like rotten meat?
Why, it's Amorphophallus titanum, the world's largest flower. One of them is about to bloom at the University of Wisconsin - Madison Department of Botany, and the link will take you to a webcam waiting for it to bloom. One bloomed at Kew Gardens in the UK a couple of years ago to much fanfare, and there are only a dozen or so "in captivity".