He bloomed, he smelled and he conquered the hearts of many.
Phil the corpse lily finally bloomed in his nursery at Cal State Long Beach after 10 years of cultivation.
This is the second rare experience in recent years for the campus, according to school officials. His counterpart, Larua, surprised the unviersity with a bloom at the age of 7 in 2015.
Standing at well over 7 feet from the soil line in the pot to the tip of his spadix, Phil is named after the late Dr. Philip Baker, professor emeritus of plant systematics in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics’ botany program.
The college’s Department of Biolgoical Scicences acquired the seedling in 2009.
“The species name of the flowering plant is Amorphophallus titanum and it is native to Sumatra,” school officials said in a release. “Its blossoming illustrates the results of millions of years of gradual, specific evolution to achieve reproductive success.”
The stench associated with the rare ‘corpse flower’ takes seven to 15 years to blossom and only stays open between 24 to 48 hours, school officials said.
“I hope that witnessing and learning about the corpse flower will help others to appreciate the importance of understanding the complex relationships that develop in every ecosystem–and support research efforts and the preservation of lives beyond our own species,” says Brian Thorson, botanical curator and botany technician for the campus.
Phil will be on display outside the Hall of Science from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. until it expires.
Stephanie Rivera covers immigration and the north, west and central parts of Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter at @StephRivera88.
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