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This photo of Titan #3 was taken by Hillyer May 10, 2012.
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Western Illinois University's Titan Arum #3, a plant nicknamed the "Corpse Flower" due to its putrid odor when it blooms, was on the verge of blooming this week. But, according to WIU Botany Greenhouse Gardener Jeff Hillyer, Titan Arum #3 collapsed Thursday evening (May 24) and will not bloom. Photo by Jeff Hillyer.
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WIU Titan, "Corpse Flower," Collapsed, Will Not Bloom

May 25, 2012

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UPDATE, Friday, May 25, 11:15 a.m.

MACOMB, IL -- According to WIU Botany Greenhouse Gardener Jeff Hillyer, Titan Arum #3 has collapsed and will not bloom. (See information below about original prediction about the WIU Titan, also known as the "Corpse Flower," blooming this week). He noted the plant collapsed Thursday evening (May 24).

"So far, just the inflorescence is dying," Hillyer said. "I hope the tuber survives and sprouts a leaf later this summer."

The live Ustream feed, which was pointed at Titan #3 to show online viewers the blooming process, is no longer available. But Hillyer is still posting updates on the WIU Botany Greenhouse blog about the many plants growing there.


Corpse Flower: "Problem" with Opening

UPDATE, Wednesday, May 23, 10:30 a.m.

MACOMB, IL -- According to WIU Botany Greenhouse Gardener Jeff Hillyer's latest post on the WIU Botany Greenhouse Blog this morning, the Titan Arum #3 is having "a problem" opening.

"Still do not know why Titan #3 is doing what it is doing, but it does not look good. If you compare today's pictures with yesterday's [photos], you can tell that it definitely has a problem and appears to be going down hill [sic]. I have my doubts that it will even open now," Hillyer stated on the blog.

Read Hillyer's latest blog post at

WIU Corpse Flower Set to Bloom Again

Posted May 22, 2012

MACOMB, IL – A camera streaming live video pointed at Western Illinois University's Titan Arum — a plant with the nickname of "Corpse Flower" — #3 can show viewers the large plant's blooming phenomenon. (The streaming video is available at
.) But the only way to experience the "funky" uniqueness of the event is by coming to smell Titan #3 in Western's Botany Greenhouse when it is blooming. According to WIU Greenhouse Manager/Gardner II Jeff Hillyer, that should occur any day now.

"Almost two years after it initially bloomed, WIU Titan #3 is in the process of doing it again. The first time it bloomed was June 29, 2010," he said. "The Titan Arum plant–also known as the 'Corpse Flower,' thanks to a less-than-pleasant smell–is a member of the Araceae family that includes plants such as Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Calla Lily and Philodendron. The bloom (or inflorescence) is composed of thousands of flowers, and the nickname comes from the blooms' odor that smells like rotting meat. In its native environment of the equatorial rainforests of central Sumatra in western Indonesia, the Titan Arum is pollinated by carrion beetles and flesh flies, which are attracted to the horrendous odor," Hillyer explained.

In addition to the live video stream documenting the event, Hillyer is providing updates about the status of Titan #3's latest inflorescence on the WIU Botany Greenhouse blog, which is available at Once Titan #3 blooms again, this will be the fourth time in two years that a WIU Titan Arum has entered inflorescence. According to Hillyer, Titan #3, as well as three others at WIU, all came from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002, and in May 2010, Titan #1 bloomed, followed by Titan #3 in June 2010. In September 2011, WIU's Titan #2 bloomed.

"We obtained them as seed, and since then, we have been growing them. One of Wisconsin's Titans, Big Bucky, was the ovule donor, and the pollen donor was Mr. Magnificent from the Marie Selby Botanical Garden in Sarasota, Florida," he noted.

Hillyer added the seeds for the plants were collected in 1993 by James Symon in Sumatra while filming for Sir David Attenborough's BBC documentary "The Private Life Of Plants." WIU's Titan Arums are among the first generation of these plants cultivated in the U.S.

The WIU Botany Greenhouse is open from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and special hours will be scheduled once the blooming process begins. For more information, contact the WIU Botany Greenhouse at (309) 298-1004 or e-mail Hillyer at

Western Illinois University's Corpse Flower Titan #3 Inflorescence
Time Lapse, June 27-29, 2010

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