Plants exist converting solar energy into something it can use, then animals come along and eat those plants. Those animals in turn are eaten by other animals and then eventually leading up to us humans, this is the food chain, and it’s law of nature as many of us perceive it. Within the world are plants that defy our understanding of nature, they exist as mere shadows on the landscape of a very bland world. One of the well known examples of these plants is the Venus fly trap, a plant capable of sustaining itself off the flies it catches. Well where one plant exists off meat there is another which maintains it’s existence through imitating meat.
The corpse plant(Amorphophallus titanum) is a native to the equatorial rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia. Unlike your common garden flower this plant spends most of it’s life in a vegetative state, going 7-10 years before it first blooms. After having to wait almost a decade to bloom, it only lasts 24-48 hours before the plant will begin to whither; after the corpse flower initially blooms it can be another 10 years before it blooms again. Though the wait between it’s first blooming and subsequent occurrences can be significant, there are some rare instances that the flower has been known to bloom again within the same year. During the Corpse flower’s bloom the stench of rotting meat fills the air, it has reached record heights of 10 feet tall, and while flowering the spadix is roughly the temperature of the human body; all of this is in an attempt to call upon flies and dung Beatles to help pollinate it.
Sacramento state is home to one of these corpse plants and has been for about 10 years; ours is roughly 20 years old now. It currently resides in Sequoia Hall room 105 which appears to be meant for the study of biology, home to the fossils of wooly mammoths as well as many other creatures. At the moment of my writing this March 22, 2015 we are currently waiting for our corpse flower to bloom, it is possible for it to bloom any day now. If you’re in time and would like to catch the event there is a webcam online currently catching the feed: here. The school is currently on spring break so here’s hoping that everyone gets a chance to see it whenever it does finally bloom.
My name is Chris Diel and i’m a DJ at KSSU, Sacramento State’s student run radio station.