‘Corpse Flower’ returns to Cal State Long Beach

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It’s become a Southern California springtime tradition at this point. While most Southland gardens are blooming with fragrant blossoms, one high-profile flower is filling the air with the smell of rotting corpses.

Titan arum, better known as the corpse flower, has bloomed at Cal State Long Beach. Measuring 4 feet high and boasting a beautiful maroon color, the flower is infamous for smelling like decomposing animals and trash.

The flower at Long Beach is affectionately named Phil, after Dr. Philip Baker, a late professor of botany, and will be on display at the university from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily until it dies.

If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look as soon as you can. The flower takes seven to 15 years to blossom, but will only stay open between 24 and 48 hours.

Brian Thorson, the botanical curator and botany technician at Cal State Long Beach for the Department of Biological Sciences, said once the flower dies off, the plant will enter a short period of dormancy before it can shoot up a large 20-foot-tall leaf that looks like a Tree.

Phil is located between the Hall of Science, and the Molecular and Life Sciences Center buildings at Cal State Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd.

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