The rare titan arum, also known as the corpse flower, began to bloom on Thursday, December 22 at a greenhouse at NC State University in Raleigh.
The tropical plant produces a big flower – one of the largest in the plant kingdom – and also a big stink often described as the smell of rotting flesh.
Brandon Huber, 27, has been monitoring the plant’s growth daily and comparing it to the growth rate of other greenhouse-grown titan arums. Huber named his titan arum Lupin, after Remus Lupin, a werewolf from the Harry Potter series whose name comes from the Latin word meaning wolf.
The titan arum stands at nearly six feet tall and its flower was around three feet wide. Huber made arrangements to pollinate his plant using pollen from a titan arum that bloomed at the University of Wisconsin a few weeks ago. If that pollination is successful, he could have blooming offspring in about a decade.
Note: This photo gallery is part of an occasional installment in collaboration with students and faculty at the School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.