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Field Notes

Covering the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest

June 8, 2011 at 11:00 PM

Nature 911: See it now! Corpse flower blooms in UW Greenhouse

The corpse flower unfurled its stately bloom at the UW Botany greenhouse tonight and was in full splendor by 10 p.m.

The stench was just starting to stoke up — the flower attracts pollinating insects by smelling like carrion — and had not yet reached its full power. Said to make the eyes water, it should reach full power in the middle of the night tonight. The greenhouse is open til 11 tonight, and reopens for visitors at 8 a.m. tomorrow, when the flower will still be stinky. The scent will fade, but the bloom still be well worth a visit all week.

And is it ever. A line of admirers snaked out the door to see the flower, with people waiting half and hour and longer for their chance to come in the steamy greenhouse, and climb a step ladder to peer inside the depths of the flower’s giant bloom. It’s that big.

It’s outlandish, Alice and Wonderland appearance is the draw, figures Doug Ewing, who with a team of greenhouse techs at the greenhouse coaxed the flower into bloom after two and a half years of dormancy.

It could be years before the flower blooms again, so see it now!

With another chance to see such a flower perhaps years away, people were lined up out the door and it was standing room only in the greenhouse last night as the corpse flower unfurled. crowd.JPG

It’s standing room only at the UW Botany greenhouse as the corpse flower draws an admiring crowd

Lynda Mapes photo

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