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Another big stink coming with titan arum bloom

Paul Cooper, head greenhouse grower for the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, poses with 11 young titan arum plants, all offspring of the university’s world famous ‘Wee Stinky’ plant’s first bloom in 2012 (the first of two).

Paul Cooper, head greenhouse grower for the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, poses with 11 young titan arum plants, all offspring of the university’s world famous ‘Wee Stinky’ plant’s first bloom in 2012 (the first of two).

[Cornell Chronicle 2015-04-23 via CALS Notes]

Researchers working with Cornell’s collection of rare titan arum plants are hoping three blooms will point them toward answers.

For those who may have missed it, one of Cornell’s titan arums – a tropical plant native only to Sumatra and famed for its giant corpse-scented flower – famously bloomed for the first time in the spring 2012. The event drew international media attention and thousands of visitors to the Kenneth Post Laboratory Greenhouses.

It also offered researchers throughout the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences a rare chance to study the complex biology of this unique reproductive spectacle. The massive bloom stayed open for days, lines of visitors snaked along hallways and sidewalks, and nascent insights into the subtle biochemistry of the bloom were born.

Read the whole article.

New time-lapse

This video was created by Eric L. Gasteiger, Videographer/Producer for Cornell University Communications (Marketing). Gasteiger shot the overhead video with a GoPro camera suspended in the rafters of the greenhouse, syncing it with the ground-level time-lapse created from still camera shots by Craig Cramer, communications specialist in the School of Integrative Plant Science.

Timelapse video: Wee Stinky in 30 Seconds

A day and a half compressed into 30 seconds …

When will a Titan Arum bloom again at Cornell?

When will a Titan Arum bloom again at Cornell? Hard to know for sure. But greenhouse grower Paul Cooper previews what might be in store while planting the corm of Wee Stinky’s sibling. Watch video:

Visit the Cornell Titan Arum YouTube channel to learn more about the science behind these stinky plants.

A new home for Wee Stinky

Artist's rendering of new conservatory.

Artist’s rendering of new conservatory.

The next time Wee Stinky flowers, it will be in a new home.

During its formative years, the Titan arum was lovingly cared for in the old Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory on the south side of  Plant Science Building. Built by greenhouse architects Lord & Burnham Co. in 1931 for Liberty Hyde Bailey, the first dean of the College of Agriculture and a prominent palm taxonomist, the facility had deteriorated and was closed in 2010. The entire Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium plant collection was moved temporarily to the Kenneth Post Laboratory Greenhouses, where Wee Stinky first flowered in 2012.

The new conservatory, located on the same spot as the old one, is scheduled to be finished in April. The plant collection — used to support engaged learning in the plant sciences —  should be returned by early summer.

The structure will feature:

  • An internal vestibule/air lock to provide more inviting access from Tower Road.
  • Higher sidewalls than the old conservatory to accommodate taller plants.
  • Two compartments with beds in the north compartment and in-bed plantings in the south compartment.
  • A  meandering walkway in the south compartment to simulate an under-canopy forest trail.
  • Computerized controls to better manage environmental conditions and conserve energy.
  • A fog system to provide humidification and evaporative cooling.
  • An automatic moveable shade to eliminate whitewash application in summer and retain heat in winter, reducing heat loss by  30 to 40 percent.
  • Hot water heating to replace steam heat for better temperature control and energy savings.
  • Larger vents for better cooling without motorized fans to reduce noise in the greenhouse.
Old Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory prior to demolition in 2010.

Old Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory prior to demolition in 2010.