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Corpse Flower at JC Raulston Arboretum to bloom this week

This will be the flower’s first bloom.

A large blooming corpse flower stands in the middle of a crowd. The flower is green, yellow, and red, and towers over guests.

NC State’s other corpse flower, named Lupin, blooming in 2016.

Photo by NC State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

One of the smelliest flowers in the plant kingdom is blooming in our own backyards. JC Raulston Arboretum is home to the corpse flower, the common name for Amorphophallus titanum.

This flower, named Wolfgang by owner Diane Mays, is preparing to bloom for the first time since its donation to NC State from Ohio State University in 2017. Once Wolfgang blooms, it will heat up to help spread its distinct, often unpleasant smell to attract bugs and aid in the pollination process. Blooms range from 4 to 8 feet tall.

It’s hard to gauge exactly when the plant will bloom, but NC State researchers determined that Wolfgang should bloom this week by comparing the plant’s growth rates to others grown in greenhouses. The arboretum will be open with extended hours for visitors to catch a glimpse and whiff of this rare flower, 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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