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Rare corpse flower now in bloom at WSU Vancouver
Rare corpse flower now in bloom at WSU Vancouver
Rare corpse flower NOW IN BLOOM at WSU Vancouver (Photo) - 07/15/19

VANCOUVER, Wash. – A rare corpse flower housed at Washington State University Vancouver is blooming for its first time. The bloom began to open just before 8 p.m. Monday, July 15.

Titan VanCoug, as it is known on campus, is currently on display outside the greenhouse at the east end of the Science and Engineering Building. The corpse flower is infamous for its odor—comparable to that of a decomposing animal. The bloom is emitting odor that will last 24 to 48 hours. You may view this rare plant 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. weekdays. Or check in on Titan VanCoug any time via webcam at https://www.youtube.com/wsuvancouver.

About the corpse flower

The corpse flower (Latin name Amorphophallus titanum, also known as titan arum) is native to the limestone hills of Sumatra, Indonesia’s rainforests, the only place in the world where it naturally grows.

They are among the world’s largest and rarest flowering structures. They bloom rarely—typically after seven to 10 years of growth and just once every four years or so afterward throughout a 40-year expected lifespan.

A corpse flower’s odor is not without reason. It’s meant to attract pollinators and help ensure the continuation of the species. Dung beetles, flesh flies and other carnivorous insects that typically eat dead flesh are attracted to the corpse flower.

About Titan VanCoug

Titan VanCoug has been raised by Associate Professor of Molecular Biosciences Steve Sylvester. He planted a seed from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s titan arum plant, affectionately named Big Bucky, in 2002. He cultivated it in a pot on his desk until it grew too large to contain in such a small space. It has grown in a stairwell in WSU Vancouver’s Science and Engineering Building for some time.

About WSU Vancouver

WSU Vancouver is located at 14204 N.E. Salmon Creek Ave. in Vancouver, east of the 134th Street exit from either I-5 or I-205, or via C-TRAN bus service. Parking is available at meters and in the Blue Daily Pay lot for $4; after 5 p.m. $2. Parking is free after 7 p.m. weekdays and on weekends.

Associate Professor of Molecular Biosciences Steve Sylvester
Associate Professor of Molecular Biosciences Steve Sylvester
Rare corpse flower to bloom at WSU Vancouver (Photo) - 07/10/19

VANCOUVER, Wash. – A rare corpse flower housed at Washington State University Vancouver is poised to bloom for its first time at the end of July or the beginning of August.

Titan VanCoug, as it is known on campus, is currently on display outside the greenhouse at the east end of the Science and Engineering Building. It’s growing a couple of inches a day as it works up to a full bloom. The corpse flower is infamous for its odor—comparable to that of a decomposing animal—when it blooms. The bloom will last 24 to 48 hours.

Come see this rare plant now through its bloom:

  • 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (Hours may adjust if the bloom occurs over a weekend.)

Check in on Titan VanCoug any time via webcam at https://www.youtube.com/wsuvancouver.

About the corpse flower

The corpse flower (Latin name Amorphophallus titanum, also known as titan arum) is native to the limestone hills of Sumatra, Indonesia’s rainforests, the only place in the world where it naturally grows.

They are among the world’s largest and rarest flowering structures. They bloom rarely—typically after seven to 10 years of growth and just once every four years or so afterward throughout a 40-year expected lifespan.

A corpse flower’s odor is not without reason. It’s meant to attract pollinators and help ensure the continuation of the species. Dung beetles, flesh flies and other carnivorous insects that typically eat dead flesh are attracted to the corpse flower.

About Titan VanCoug

Titan VanCoug has been raised by Associate Professor of Molecular Biosciences Steve Sylvester. He planted a seed from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s titan arum plant, affectionately named Big Bucky, in 2002. He cultivated it in a pot on his desk until it grew too large to contain in such a small space. It has grown in a stairwell in WSU Vancouver’s Science and Engineering Building for some time.

A late bloomer at 17, Titan VanCoug’s first bloom was most likely delayed because its corm (tuber) cloned. Corpse flowers put up only one leaf at a time. The pot that contains Titan VanCoug has had as many as four leaves showing at once.

About WSU Vancouver

WSU Vancouver is located at 14204 N.E. Salmon Creek Ave. in Vancouver, east of the 134th Street exit from either I-5 or I-205, or via C-TRAN bus service. Parking is available at meters and in the Blue Daily Pay lot for $4; after 5 p.m. $2. Parking is free after 7 p.m. weekdays and on weekends.

As one of six campuses of the Washington State University system, WSU Vancouver offers big-school resources in a small-school environment. The university provides affordable, high-quality baccalaureate- and graduate-level education to benefit the people and communities it serves. As the only four-year research university in Southwest Washington, WSU Vancouver helps drive economic growth through relationships with local businesses and industries, schools and nonprofit organizations. 

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MEDIA CONTACT(S)

Brenda Alling, Office of Marketing and Communications, 360-546-9601, renda_alling@wsu.edu">brenda_alling@wsu.edu

Faculty and students of WSU Vancouver's English 341 met for a water safety orientation in the Cathlapotle Plankhouse at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.
Faculty and students of WSU Vancouver's English 341 met for a water safety orientation in the Cathlapotle Plankhouse at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.
WSU Vancouver offers summer English course on the Columbia River for the first time (Photo) - 06/24/19

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Who says summer school is a drag? For some Washington State University Vancouver students, their summer English literature course is an adventure.

Students in English 341 Native American Literature are taking a significant part of their lessons in a 15-person tribal canoe on the Columbia River. Chairman of the Chinook Indian Nation Tony Johnson will be at the helm for the course themed “Mni Wiconi, Water is Life.”

The centerpiece of the literature course is the novel “Solar Storms” by Linda Hogan. The story is set in the boundary waters between Minnesota and Ontario, and focuses the impact of the fur trade and massive hydropower projects, and the healing power of an all-woman canoe journey.

While they paddle, Johnson will teach the students about parallel impacts of the fur trade and dams on the Chinook and other Columbia River tribal nations. They will get an intimate introduction to the Columbia River ecosystems, and related cultural traditions and oral narratives of the Chinook and other Columbia River tribes. Students will leave with some understanding of the annual Pacific Northwest canoe journeys in the cultural revitalization work among the Chinook and other lower Columbia tribal nations.

The land-based part of English 341 is taught by Desiree Hellegers, associate professor of English. She is the recipient of a 2019 fellowship endowed by Lewis E. and Stella G. Buchanan, which provided seed money for the course. Hellegers developed the course in consultation with Lakota/Cheyenne activist/researcher Roben White, who is a member of WSU Vancouver’s Native American Community Advisory Board.

About WSU Vancouver

As one of six campuses of the Washington State University system, WSU Vancouver offers big-school resources in a small-school environment. The university provides affordable, high-quality baccalaureate- and graduate-level education to benefit the people and communities it serves. As the only four-year research university in Southwest Washington, WSU Vancouver helps drive economic growth through relationships with local businesses and industries, schools and nonprofit organizations. 

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NOTE TO INTERESTED MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA: English 341 will launch at 2:30 p.m. June 25, June 27 and July 2 (weather permitting) from Marine Park, SE Marine Park Way and Columbia Way. Class is over and the boat returns about 5:50 p.m.