Rare and fleeting: See the Corpse Flower in bloom

All eyes are on the Corpse Flower at the UC Botanical Garden which, right here, right now, is  beginning to bloom. (The photos above show the plant, officially known as the Amorphophallus titanum or titan arum, on June 17, June 18 and today.)

The titan arum is so fascinating because of its rare flowering structure and a reproduction method that attracts insects with the illusion of decay in appearance, temperature and odor — hence the name Corpse Flower.

According to UC Botanical Garden, fewer that five titans bloom each year in the US, so this is a great opportunity for Berkeleyans to see one in the flesh.

The Garden expects it to open fully around July 1, although it follows its own schedule. The flower is only fully open for a day or two, so to avoid missing the moment, follow its progress on the Garden’s Facebook page, its Corpse Flower website page or on Twitter (@ucgarden).


Photos: UC Botanical Garden.

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside. Email: tracey@citysidejournalism.org.