VANCOUVER, Wash. — Titan VanCoug, the rare corpse flower that resides on the Washington State University Vancouver campus, is now in bloom, the university announced early Wednesday morning. The bloom will last 24 to 48 hours.
People can come see the corpse flower, located outside the greenhouse at the east end of the Science and Engineering Building, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday. Admission is free and for Wednesday only, parking will be free.
In 2019, when the corpse flower last bloomed — the first bloom in nearly two decades — it attracted 20,000 visitors to the campus. The university said people coming to see the plant on Wednesday should expect long lines.
"Prepare for the weather, wear comfortable shoes, and bring water and snacks," the university said in a news release. Temperatures in Vancouver are expected to peak near 100 degrees Wednesday.
The university has also set up a webcam live stream where fans can watch the bloom via YouTube.
Dr. Steve Sylvester who taught Biochemistry at WSU Vancouver for more than 20 years, first propagated this flower in a pot on his desk. As it grew, it was moved outside to a public space on campus.
Today the flower has its own stairway green house where it can thrive in.
"Seems pretty darn happy with it. We're excited. Very excited to see how big this one is growing. It's really a unique plant and a neat opportunity in general for folks in this part of the world to come and see something unique," Sylvester said.
In early July, Titan VanCoug began new growth from one of its four corms. On August 3, Titan VanCoug grew to 34 inches tall and the spadex — the central floral spike — appeared, confirming a bloom is imminent, according to WSU Vancouver.
"We were able to get such a great and pretty darn big bloom coming out of it right now," said Dawn Freeman, a previous student at WSU Vancouver during the original planting and now the care taker of the flower.
Sylvester hopes to pollinate Titan VanCoug to create more seeds to share to other universities and conservatories.