By RYAN J. FOLEY, Associated Press Writer Thu Jun 2, 8:23 PM ET
MADISON, Wis. - Big Bucky's back.
The rare, big and extremely stinky flower that caused a sensation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison when it last bloomed in 2001 could become the world's largest flower when it blooms again next week.
The titan arum stood at 6 feet, 4 inches Thursday in a UW-Madison greenhouse, on pace to rival the world record for cultivated flowers when it blooms and releases its trademark roadkill scent in the coming days.
Botanists hope it will surpass the record of nearly 9 feet set by a titan arum in Germany two years ago.
The university is bracing for thousands of curious visitors hoping to catch a glimpse and even a whiff of the rock star of the botanical world, known as the "corpse flower," native to the rain forests of Sumatra, Indonesia.
On Thursday, computer technicians were figuring how to run a Web cam broadcasting the flower's progress, botanists were recruiting volunteers to staff the greenhouse for extended hours and the curious were getting an early sneak peak.
In 2001, Big Bucky's bloom drew some 20,000 visitors who waited in long lines to see the spectacle and caused the university's Web site to crash under an onslaught of visitors seeking live updates. Botanists were disappointed when the bloom fell just three inches short of the world record, which at the time had held since 1932.
"We didn't know how people were so into a stinky plant, a monster, a beast," said Mohammad Fayyaz, director of UW-Madison's Botany Garden and Greenhouses.
Friday, June 03, 2005
guess what, it's not all sweet creamy goodness folks--plants are blog-worthy too, especially if they're large, phallic, and smell like rotting meat! it's been amazing week for wisconsin greenery, and next week might be even better...
feed me seymour, feed me all night long!