WSU Vancouver's Corpse Flower Blooms Again in All Its Stinky Glory


The corpse flower at Washington State University Vancouver is officially blooming again.

Those interested in seeing the rare flower — known as Titan VanCoug — can visit it on display outside the school's greenhouse building between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. today. School officials will display it outside on Wednesday only, as the bloom is anticipated to last only 24 to 48 hours.

A YouTube livestream of the flower's bloom began Tuesday evening, showing the plant ominously illuminated in darkness. The livestream can be found on WSU Vancouver's website.

Since it began sprouting June 1, school officials have monitored the rare flower's rapid growth in its pot in the eastern staircase of the Science and Engineering Building. Since then, it's grown to more than 4 feet tall.

The new growth is the second for Titan VanCoug; Vancouverites may recall the plant's first bloom just over three years ago in July 2019 drew an estimated 20,000 visitors to the campus.

Faculty members including environmental science professor Steve Sylvester, who has cultivated and preserved the plant since 2002, will be available to answer questions throughout the day on Wednesday about the corpse flower's exotic origin and the deathly smell that gives it its nickname.

The corpse flower — known in the botany world by its Latin moniker 'titan arum' — is native to Sumatra and is among the largest flowering plants in the world. While blooming, which only occurs once every four or so years, it emits a stench experts compare to rotting flesh.

Titan VanCoug's first bloom in 2019 came 17 years after it was first planted — an unusually long wait for a corpse flower to bloom. In 2008, a planting accident caused the flower to clone itself and slow its growth in the process.

When the flower finishes blooming, it quickly dies off.