UC Berkeley News
Web Feature

UC Berkeley Web Feature

Odora in odiferous bloom at Botanical Garden

– The UC Botanical Garden is celebrating a noxious smell permeating its Tropical House, thanks to the blooming of Odora the Titan arum, also known not so fondly as the corpse flower.

Odora the Titan arum in bloom
Odora the Titan arum in bloom at the UC Botanical Garden. (Janet Williams photo)
Garden spokeswoman Janet Williams said the Sumatran plant began issuing its trademark stench sometime before the Strawberry Canyon facility opened on Monday morning (June 30).

"Odora is a great name for it because it's so odiferous," said Williams, adding that this plant's foul smell seems even more powerful than that of its two predecessors at the garden, Titania the Titan (2007) and Trudy the Titan (2005).

The Amorphophallus titanum's stinky aroma is at its peak for about 10 to 12 hours after the initial bursting blossom, but it can continue in spurts for a few days. The rare Titan arum typically takes seven or so years to bloom and its blossom lasts 72 hours before collapsing.

The garden is usually closed to the public on the first Tuesday of each month, but will remain open tomorrow (July 1). Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and $2 for children ages 3 through 12. Its hours of operation will be extended during Odora's bloom and the garden will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the last visitors admitted at 5:30 p.m. Directions to the garden are online.

Images reflecting Odora's dramatic transformation over the past two weeks are online. The garden also has an online photo diary that includes the 2007 images of Titania the Titan and another with 2005 photos of Trudy the Titan.

The garden hosts 12,800 different species and subspecies of plants, making it one of the largest and most diverse collections in the United States. It also has a large number of rare and endangered California native plants on display, with many of them part of its collection maintained for the national Center for Plant Conservation. For more information, see the UC Botanic Garden website.