PHOTOS: Corpse Flower Blooms With A Big Stink At NC State

Sep 26, 2016

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.

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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.

A close-up shot of the titan arum, also known as the corpse flower.
Credit Brian Batista / WUNC

Carrie Ehrfurth,37, and Dave Frye, 44, took their baby Max Frye to the exhibit. The family, who lives in Fuquay-Varina, NC, had great curiosity to see how the plant would look like in full bloom after being raised for 13 years.
Credit Brian Batista / WUNC

Brandon Huber raised the titan arum for several years on his own, before finally got assistance from NC State and Diane Mayes, who curates the greenhouse conservatory where the plant is held. The rare flower began to open on Thursday, September 22.
Credit Brian Batista / WUNC

A close-up of the Pollination stems of the titan arum, also known as the corpse flower.
Credit Brian Batista / WUNC

Professor of Plant Pathology at NC State Peter Balint takes a photo of his son, Jack Balint, in front of the titan arum, also known as the corpse flower. Balint had the opportunity to take a really close snap of his son and the titan arum when it bloomed the weekend of September 24, 2016 at NC State in Raleigh.
Credit Brian Batista / WUNC
Brandon Huber, 27, discusses the titan arum project with his supervisor, Todd Wehner and his wife. Professor Wehner has been Brandon's supervisor since 2014, and the titan arum is actually a side-project of Huber. Wehner's had much interest in Huber's project. The titan arum is also known as the corpse flower because of the smell it emits when it blooms.
Credit Brian Batista / WUNC

Researchers Brandon Huber and Diane Mayes with the pollination hole in the back of the titan, also known as the corpse flower because of the odor of its flower. The flower began to open on Thursday, September 22 at NC State's greenhouse in Raleigh.
Credit Brian Batista / WUNC