Corpse flower blooming at NC State in JC Raulston Arboretum

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Wednesday, June 21, 2023
Corpse flower blooming at NC State in JC Raulston Arboretum
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The plant started blooming Wednesday morning, the university says.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Things are about to get a little stinky in the NC State campus area.

One of the biggest and stinkiest flowers in the plant kingdom, also known as the corpse flower, is blooming this week at North Carolina State University. The rare titan arum is commonly known as the corpse flower due to the odor of its flower. Many people describe it as smelling like rotting flesh.

Plant Conservatory Curator Diane Mays was given a dormant corm of Amorphophallus titanum from Ohio State University's Biological Science Department in 2017.

Mays has proudly named this corpse flower Wolfgang, keeping with the NC State Wolfpack theme.

The corpse flower is located at the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center next to the Cascade Fountain.

How to see it

Unfortunately, this story doesn't have a scratch-n-sniff option, so here's how you can see the blooming flower in-person and via live stream.

In person: The JC Raulston Arboretum will offer extended hours for public viewing during the bloom phase from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Once the corpse flower blooms its smell will only last about 24 hours.

Livestream: The Department of Horticultural Science has a webcam so individuals unable to see the plant in person can view the plant's progress throughout the week.

Like other titan arums, Wolfgang has a complex life cycle. It takes at least seven years for the corpse flower to bloom for the first time. After blooming, the plant will go dormant and move through leaf cycles until it restores its energy supply to rebloom - its main goal for existing. A typical bloom ranges from 4 to 8 feet tall. As it blooms, the corpse flower heats up to help spread its smell so that it attracts bugs to aid pollination.

Previous corpse flower blooms at NC State

In 2016 and again in 2019 and 2021, Lupin, the massive corpse flower bloomed, bringing people from all over the state and country. NC State PhD student Brandon Huber owned the flower.