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Re: A St. Paul Minnesota blooming

  • Subject: Re: A St. Paul Minnesota blooming
  • From: E Morano <ironious2@yahoo.com>
  • Date: Sun, 6 Apr 2008 23:58:33 -0700 (PDT)

This cam is pasword protected. Whats the user name and password?

Charles Gramling <chazmg1@citlink.net> wrote:

Como Park readies for corpse flower's pungent bloom This flower by any other name would still ? stink

Article Last Updated: 04/05/2008 12:55:37 AM CDT
Spectators at Como Park's Marjorie McNeely Conservatory on Friday examine a placard explaining the life cycle of Titus Arum, also known as the corpse flower or carrion flower. (Jason Hoppin, Pioneer Press)
The smell of death is looming.
A rare corpse flower bloom is anticipated next week at Como Park's Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. It would be the second in Minnesota history and one of about 125 recorded worldwide since the flower was discovered in the rainforests of Indonesia in the 1870s.
The flower is named after the smell it emits, likened to rotting flesh. Cultivated in a greenhouse at the conservatory since 2005, the flower has been moved to a public area where it can be seen ? and smelled ? in all its, um, glory.
On Friday, visitors to the St. Paul zoo and conservatory were wary of returning to get a whiff of the smell, which is used to attract pollinating bees and beetles. Some crinkled their noses when told about the flower's odor.
But one was enthusiastic. Alec Abercrombie, a Shoreview boy visiting with his mother and little brother, was game.
"Oh, yeah. I would (come back)," Alec said. "It sounds interesting."
His mother wasn't so sure.
"If I had to bring him," Kris Abercrombie said. "But I guess I don't know what rotting flesh smells like."
Gustavus Adolphus College played host to a bloom last year, Minnesota's first. Como's plants are gifts of the college, and in the rarefied world of corpse flower aficionados, everyone seems to be watching and waiting for the Como flower, dubbed "Bob," to do its thing.
Conservatory horticulturist Margaret Yaekel-Twum said she was in contact with people as far away as Bonn,
Germany, who were following the progress via Webcam.
The blooms are rare, often occurring just once every 15 years or so. They last for a day or two. The smell persists for about eight hours, Yaekel-Twum said. And she has smelled one before.
"It did make my stomach turn," she said. "... And I have a pretty strong stomach."
For much of the plant's life, it grows a single, tall leaf out of its corm, which is similar to a root ball. On the rare occasion when it flowers and blooms ? in this case expected sometime around Tuesday ? its green collar will fan out and turn a deep purple.
The color, along with the smell and the fact the plants actually heat up, helps attract critters that normally feed on carrion.
The plants can grow to more than 9 feet high. However, the Como corpse flower is young and stands about 26 inches. Yaekel-Twum said there is still no guarantee the plant will bloom, but all signs say it will ? the leaves are already turning a telltale color.
Name: Titan arum
Known as: Corpse flower or carrion flower
Found in: Indigenous only to Sumatra, Indonesia
First U.S. bloom: New York Botanical Garden, 1937
Online: To follow progress of the Como Park corpse flower, go to www.comozooconservatory.org/cons/gardenblog.shtml.
Chuck Gramling
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