Two of our members and two universities all have something in common right now. Amorphophallus titanum, or the Corpse Flower or Titan arums, is set to or has already bloomed at Franlink Park Conservatory (Columbus, OH), Longwood Gardens (Kennett Square, PA), Cal Poly (San Luis Obispo, CA), and Northwestern State (Natchitoches, LA).
The blooms of Amorphophallus titanum can reach ten feet tall and carry with them a truly putrid smell meant to lure in carrion-eating insects as pollinators. While blooms used to be rare, an increase in the number of blooms, this year and in recent years, may have some wondering what is happening. If you're as curious as we were, we dug around and found a few articles that may be of interest to you.
While the reasons vary and nothing seems decided, what we do know is that the blooms attract diverse audiences and increase sales for public gardens. We're not going to make a stink about that.