Hoards of admirers are expected to gather at the Orange Coast College this week to get a whiff of a smelly flower that is set to blossom at the institution. The flower is famous for its corpse-like scent, hence its name the corpse flower.
Scientifically, the plants on which the flowers bloom are known as the Amorphophallus titanum plant and will be displayed on the institution’s administration block, 2701 Fair view Road, from 10 am to 6 pm on Wednesday, June 28. Admirers who will be looking to see and smell the corpse flower will be allowed to do so until 10 pm.
According to the institution’s horticulture coordinator, Joe Stead, the plant weighs over 30 pounds and stands about 5 feet tall. Some corpse flowers weigh up to 200 pounds.
The college’s representative, Andrea Rangno argues that the corpse flower is surprisingly beautiful. The Amorphophallus titanum plant, originally from the island of Sumatra, remains endangered despite its foul smell. The different smell is a result of beetles crawling inside the plant during the pollination process, and moving pollen grains from male to female flowers. At the college, however, pollination of the plant is done by hand.
Upon blossoming, admirers can expect to see magenta petals, which have the look of a skirt wrapped around the plant’s fleshy spike, or tall spadix. Blossoming occurs in the evening and can take up to a decade to occur for the first time. After the first time, subsequent blooms occur after every 3 to 5 years. The fully blossomed flower lasts between to 48 hours.
In 2014, the Orange Coast College hosted over 1,000 guests who visited to catch a glimpse of Little John, an 11-year-old corpse flower. Visitors to the OCC bloom are expected to make donations toward scholarships in the school’s horticulture program.
About Orange Coast College
The campus is situated a few kilometers from the magnificent Southern California beaches. The college was founded in 1947, and boasts of exceptional facilities and latest technology, and is currently, the biggest community college in the county. It enrolls more than 25000 students each semester.
Among the campus’s 135 academic programs is one of the nation’s biggest public nautical programs. Almost half of the college’s students are enrolled in at one of OCC’s Career and Technical Education programs. OCC offers winter, fall, spring and summer classes.
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