One of the World’s Stinkiest Plants is about to Bloom at Rollins

Keep your eye on the Rollins College Greenhouse webcam, because the College’s second corpse plant is about to bloom and it’s truly a rare event.

A young visitor reacts to the smell of a corpse plant that bloomed in the Rollins greenhouse last April. (Photo by Laura J. Cole) A young visitor reacts to the smell of a corpse plant that bloomed in the Rollins greenhouse last April. (Photo by Laura J. Cole)

Greenhouse manager Alan Chryst ’93 is watching and waiting, because it looks like Rollins College’s Amorphophallus titanum is about to bloom in the Hauck Research Center on campus. And when it blooms, it will be a rare event.

These plants are better known by their nickname, “corpse plants,” and they’re famous for a few things. Not only are they among the world’s largest plants (reaching upward 20 feet in the wild), they’re difficult to cultivate and can take more than a decade to bloom—if they’re able to bloom at all. And if they finally bloom, they omit their trademark odor of disgusting, rotting flesh.

Visitors came to see and smell the College's corpse plant last April. (Photo by Laura J. Cole) Visitors came to see and smell the College's corpse plant last April. (Photo by Laura J. Cole)

Chryst estimates that Rollins’ 12-year-old corpse plant could bloom sometime between May 1 – 5. You can keep an eye on its progress via the live greenhouse webcam.

The bloom and the stench of corpse plants last only about 36 hours before the flower collapses entirely. As odd and repulsive as these plants might seem, their size, color, and odor are very alluring to the insects they need to attract for pollination.

If the College’s corpse plant does bloom, it will be the second time one has bloomed in cultivation at Rollins. The College’s first corpse plant surprised many when it began to show signs of a bloom in April 2015 and drew large crowds when it opened up. It even captured the attention of Ripley’s Believe it or Not.

Extended Greenhouse Hours

The corpse plant has begun to bloom and the greenhouse is extending its hours to allow the Rollins community and general public to experience this once-in-a-decade event. If you plan to visit the greenhouse, please observe the open hours and parking information below.

Midnight Viewing

The greenhouse is hosting a special midnight viewing session on Thursday, May 5, from 11 p.m. – 2 a.m. This is when the smell of carrion will be in its prime.

Friday, May 6

8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 7

3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 8

3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Parking

Please park in the SunTrust Parking Garage, which is adjacent to the Rollins College campus. Map It

Directions

The greenhouse is located a short walk from the parking garage. Map It

Greenhouse manager Alan Chryst ’93 and the Hauck Research Center. (Photo by Scott Cook) Greenhouse manager Alan Chryst ’93 and the Hauck Research Center. (Photo by Scott Cook)