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Corpse Flower Bloom

Check out @CSULBSciMath on Twitter for updates.

Update 2: June 3, 2019

Thank you again to everyone who came out to see Phil today. His odor was not as pungent as yesterday, so Brian, the Botanical Curator and Phil's "dad," allowed visitors a much closer sniff.

Phil is now back up in his greenhouse, where he will finish his decline. He will not be put on display again.

As his flowering structure wilts during the next couple of days, we will attempt to capture the action on a GoPro and post the video.

Update: June 3, 2019

Phil the corpse flower is still in bloom, but he is starting to decline. He will again be on display between the HSCI and MLSC buildings at CSULB from 10:30am-4:00pm. If you didn't get a chance to see him yesterday, don't miss him today! The earlier you can make it, the better.

Update 2: June 2, 2019

Phil had a great day today! Thank you everyone who came out to see him in all his stinky glory.

Pending observations tomorrow morning, if Phil is still in bloom, we will bring him out again for visitors in the late morning to later afternoon. We anticipate 11:00am to 5:00pm, but check for updates tomorrow morning for more specific times. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to display him again.

Update: June 2, 2019

Phil the corpse flower is blooming! Come and smell the stink. He is on display today between the HSCI and MLSC buildings from 11:00am to 6:00pm.

Phil the corpse flower's spathe is starting to open. Full bloom typically takes a few hours.

Previous Updates

Update: June 1, 2019

No big show yet, but his waist is getting more defined and that burgundy interior is looking very chocolatey this morning as the ruffle of the spathe is playing a coy peek-a-boo. Oh, and yes, he still growing - another 3/4" since yesterday; he is now 68".

Update 2: May 31, 2019

Along with several other key indicators of imminent blooming, such as color saturation of the inside of the spathe, trace release of aromatic compounds, and color change in and depressions on the surface of the spadix, the final changes to occur are in the shape of the spathe. It has been a long wait, but we are approaching the start of the REAL show.

Update: May 31, 2019

Phil has grown an additional inch since yesterday. From the soil-line, he stands 67.25 inches tall. His spathe is a chocolate-wine color on the inside, and he's been stinking, off-and-on, for the past three days. We are keeping our fingers crossed for an opening and show today!

Update 2: May 30, 2019

Phil is continuing to develop the final touches of his majestically spreading spathe and grand, wonderful stench. We're seeing changes at every hourly observation: the induction of aromatic compounds that give him his unique smell; the darkening of his spathe, which is already a solid, deep, crimson wine, and further changes to the shape of the spathe; the bulbous base inflating further; the neck constricting and turning inward to impart the graceful hang of the spathe's margin when he finally unfurls; and it's fringes rotating for a eye-stopping presentation. We are imminently close to seeing and smelling a unsurpassed show that can only be achieved by Phil's insistence on perfection to the last detail. Stay connected; we're confident it will be worth the long wait.

corpse flower collar

Update: May 30, 2019

No bloom yet, but Phil is still showing progress. He is at 66.25" as of this morning. His growth rate has slowed, so we are checking on him every hour. We will provide an update the moment we have news.

Update 2: May 29, 2019

Phil is still keeping us on the edge of our seats! He's grown so much that we have to move the GoPro that's been stationed above him. Check back tomorrow morning for an update.

Phil the corpse flower with his buddy Michelle: she is 5'9".

Update: May 29, 2019

Phil is getting stinkier and fluffier. He has grown another inch overnight. It could be any time now, but we are on Phil's schedule.

Update 2: May 28, 2019

Phil is not just changing color, he's starting to stink! It's a sure sign that the bloom is not far off. We are as excited as you are to smell what comes next. When the bloom is well underway, we will be posting the viewing times.

Update: May 28, 2019

Phil the corpse flower has grown another inch in the last 24 hours, bringing him to 64.5" with still more of that gorgeous color saturation. As a reminder, Phil will not be displayed until he blooms; he needs to stay toasty in the greenhouse until then.

Update 2: May 27, 2019

The watch continues overnight. He is getting taller and warmer. We will peek in again at Phil in the morning and let you know!

Update: May 27, 2019

Phil's spadix, the source of the notorious stench, grew 2 more inches in the past 24 hours! He is now 63.5 inches tall and will provide the full benefit of the "stink" when he blooms. The extra time spent in the greenhouse is a bonus--his core temperature is 16 degrees (Fahrenheit) above ambient and his color is even more saturated. Stay tuned--we will bring him out during daytime hours when the bloom happens.

Update 2: May 26, 2019

Phil is even more saturated with color and he's getting taller and fatter every day. Today he measured 61.5" - a 2" growth spurt in 2 days! He's really benefiting from his time in the greenhouse, so he will only be brought out when he blooms. When we know, you'll know!

Update: May 26, 2019

Phil did not bloom overnight. However, the pigmentation of his spathe has increased dramatically. Because of today's cold and possibly rainy weather, we will keep him nice and toasty in his greenhouse unless he blooms.

The spathe (large petal) of Phil the corpse flower has dramatically increased pigmentation overnight. The spadix can be see to the left. The interior side of the spathe, which will be visible once the plant's bloom opens, is on the right.

Update 2: May 25, 2019

Still no bloom. Phil has been enjoying the warmth of his tropical nursery and is getting a lot more saturated with color - so the bloom is not far off. We promise you'll be the first to know when Phil brings the stink. Stay tuned!

Update: May 25, 2019

Phil is still keeping his spathe (large petal) to himself, but we can see that it is getting much closer. For now, he needs to stay warm in the greenhouse since it's much cooler outside today than yesterday. We will be checking on him later today and will make another update.

Update 2: May 24, 2019

Phil the corpse flower did not bloom today. We will be monitoring his status. If he blooms overnight, he will be on display Saturday (5/25). We will post an update early Saturday morning.

Update: May 24, 2019

No full bloom yet. The spadix indentations have lengthened and deepened. When blooming, Phil will heat up to near human body temperature, so the warmer weather today should be helpful. Phil is again on display between HSCI and MLSC.

Update: May 23, 2019

Phil is still advancing to full bloom and is again on display between HSCI and MLSC. The tips of the spathe (large petal) have deepened into burgundy. The spadix (tall green structure), where the flower's prominent scent is produced, is starting to dimple and contract in preparation of a full bloom.

Update: May 22, 2019

Phil is slowly advancing to full bloom and is again on display between HSCI and MLSC. The spathe (large petal) is starting to deepen into the deep burgundy color that will fully display during the bloom. The expectation is that the bloom will begin in tomorrow's early morning hours. Phil will be on display again tomorrow.

Corpse Flower on 5/21
Corpse Flower on 5/22

Original Posting

May 21, 2019
9:00am-4:00pm in the corridor between HSCI and MLSC

CNSM's Corpse Flower is About to Bloom! The Department of Biological Sciences and College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics is proud to announce the unique opportunity to witness the bloom of the Titan Arum, or Corpse Flower.

The flower, nicknamed "Phil" is in its final stages of development and is expected to open either May 21, or the following day.

Phil will be on display on May 21, 2019 in the corridor between HSCI and MLSC from 9:00am to 4:00pm.

If it remains in bloom or doesn't bloom until Wednesday, he will remain available for visits during the same timeframe on May 22.

By our good fortune, we were able to obtain two seedlings of this rare species, native to Sumatra, in 2009. One was named "Laura," after our beloved former dean, Laura Kingsford; the other was named "Phil," in memory of our former Professor of Botany, Philip Baker. After years of careful cultivation, "Laura" graced us with a spectacular bloom in 2015. Since then, we've anxiously awaited a bloom from "Phil."

We encourage you to stop by, photograph, and experience this rare bloom!

If you have any questions, you may contact Brian Thorson, the Botanical Curator and Technician for the Biological Sciences Department at

Amorphophallus titanum Laura June 16, 2015. Amorphophallus titanum Phil May 20, 2019.

Correction: the term "corpse lily" has been replaced with the more accurate term "corpse flower" for the Titan Arum.