Rare plant to bloom at Binghamton University for third time in five years


BINGHAMTON, NY – The Amorphophallus titanum (corpse flower) is getting ready to open and unleash its stinky odor at Binghamton University’s E.W. Heier Teaching Greenhouse for the third time in just five years. Watch a live stream of the corpse flower at http://bit.ly/1EQIFvF.

The flower, which gives off a scent reminiscent of decomposing flesh, opened at the University for the first time in 2010, again in 2013, and is set to open on or around Aug. 26. Corpse flowers generally bloom only once every 5-30 years. 

Laurie Bell, greenhouse manager at Binghamton University, said that Binghamton’s corpse flower, nicknamed Metis, is likely blooming more frequently because of its location in the greenhouse.

"It is clear from its tremendous growth rate that Metis favors this particular spot in the Tropical Room," said Bell. "After its last inflorescence in 2013, Metis’ corm weighed 50 lbs. It was then in leaf for a year, and nearly doubled its size to 95 lbs. this spring."

The University received this particular Amorphophallus titanum plant through the efforts of alumnus Werner Stiegler, who facilitated the donation of the bulb-shaped plant corm to the University’s greenhouse. The plant was grown from a seed that had come directly from Bali, Indonesia, and in keeping with the tradition of naming the corpse flower after mythological Titans from ancient Greece, Stiegler called it "Metis," in honor of the goddess of learning and teaching.           

The E.W. Heier Teaching Greenhouse will offer extended hours for visitors. Starting Monday, Aug. 24, the facility will be open from 8:30 a.m–6 p.m. each night until flowering. On flowering day, the greenhouse will be open until 10 p.m. 

Last Updated: 9/17/13