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‘Corpse flower’ at UC Santa Cruz Arboretum blooms

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION-TV) UPDATE August 3, 2022, at 11:47 a.m.- The corpse flower at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum bloomed Monday night after a week of false alarms.

Credit: UC Santa Cruz Arboretum

The Arboretum will be open until five today to accommodate guests who want to smell the flower.

UPDATE July 29, 2022, at 9:15 p.m.-- The "corpse flower" will not bloom tonight, announced the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum.

The flower is not progressing, and they are expecting it to bloom tomorrow afternoon.

"We apologize for the false alarm, but it was lovely to see you all this evening! We are closing the Arboretum once we have everyone safely out," said the Arboretum.

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UPDATE July 29, 2022, at 5:37 p.m.--The "corpse flower" has begun to bloom, said the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum.

"The temperature of the spadix is over 90 degrees, and it is starting to give off a smell," said the Arboretum.

The Arboretum will be open until 11 p.m. tonight. For those who can't make it, you can watch live here.

"There are no lights on our paths, so please wear sensible shoes and bring a flashlight," said the Arboretum. "We have a VERY small parking lot, so if you can ride a bike, walk, or take a bus, please do!"

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UPDATE July 27, 2022, at 1:06 p.m.-- The "corpse flower" may bloom as early as Thursday evening, according to the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum.

"The spathe is coloring up, and the last bract (the spotted leaf-like appendage) wilted away this afternoon," said the Arboretum on Tuesday. "This signals the last phase before the inflorescence matures, and it may be as soon as Thursday evening."

On Wednesday, the bract started to fall away.

ORIGINAL STORY

The "corpse flower" is set to bloom a the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum. An event that happens 24 hours every seven to nine years.

"Referred to as the corpse flower or stinky plant, its putrid smell is most potent during peak bloom at night into the early morning," according to the United States Botanic Garden. "The odor is often compared to the stench of rotting flesh."

This particular titan arum has been nurtured in the UCSC Greenhouses for the last ten years under the care of former Director Jim Velzy and current Director Sylvie Childress, whose climate-controlled greenhouses were better suited for this tropical plant.

"The corpse flower is listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with an estimation of fewer than 1,000 individuals remaining in the wild," according to the United States Botanic Garden. "IUCN estimates the population has declined more than 50% over the past 150 years. The main reasons for the decline are logging and the conversion of the plant's native forest habitat to oil palm plantations."

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Ricardo Tovar

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