Corpse Flower

Amy Womble leans forwards to take a picture of the flowers of Lupin, the titan arum. The part of the flower that looks like a blossom is actually called the spathe, while the actual flowers are located in the base of the spike. The spathe had been cut open for easier viewing of the flowers.

On Thursday, August 1, a corpse flower began to bloom in the Marye Anne Fox Science Teaching Laboratory Greenhouse. This is the second time the flower, which is now 16 years old, has bloomed, the first being in 2016.

The corpse flower, also known by its scientific name Amorphophallus titanum, was received by Brandon Huber, a graduate student in horticulture, in 2007. According to NC State News, Huber named the plant Lupin, the Latin word for “wolf,” in honor of NC State. 

The corpse flower gets its name from its smell, which can be like that of rotting flesh.

“I was coming around the corner, three greenhouse ranges back, and I could smell it all the way back there, blowing out the exhaust fan,” Huber said in a 2016 interview. “And I knew that’s it; that’s my plant.”

Though the sign-up list to visit the flower has already been filled, there is a livestream set up for those who wish to see it in real time. The livestream can also be used to rewatch the bloom.

More information about the flower and visitation can be found at Lupin’s website.