Orange Coast College Is Home To A Rare Flower That Is Stinky But Beautiful

Orange Coast College students and faculty get to experience something unusual every few years in May or June. At some point during the spring, a rare flowering plant blooms. While the flower looks pretty from a distance, its smell is a completely different story. It is commonly called the corpse flower because its odor is pungent and foul enough to mimic the stench of decaying flesh. The flower is displayed in a special exhibit at the college’s administration building, and it is only on public display for a day.



About The Rare Corpse Flower

The proper name for the flower is amorphophallus titanum. It is also referred to as titan arum. This particular titan arum has been part of the college in Costa Mesa since 2006. Students and faculty named it Little Dougie. It is now about as tall as an adult human and weighs more than 30 pounds. Some amorphophallus titanum plants grow larger and may weigh as much as 200 pounds. A spokesperson from the college said that the flower is a beautiful sight to behold, and admirers appreciate its beauty even more because of how short the bloom lasts. Amorphophallus titanum plants are native to the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. The distinct odor is caused after beetles crawl into the plant to pollinate it. When the pollen is transferred from the male flowers to the female ones, the odor is released. However, Little Dougie is pollinated by the horticulture students. A horticulturist at the school said that the college had another corpse flower before it acquired Little Dougie. That flower was kept in the greenhouse and was so pungent that fans had to be turned on when it bloomed. The smell from the corpse flower is especially strong for about five hours.


When Little Dougie opens, visitors see beautiful magenta petals. They appear like a skirt around the plant, and it has a tall spike called a spadix in the middle. The phallic shape of the plant’s center is why it earned its scientific name. It usually blooms in the evening. What makes the Indonesian plant so special is how long it takes for it to bloom. The first flower does not appear for nearly a decade. When it initially blooms, the flower is only visible for a maximum of 48 hours. After that, the plant will bloom anywhere from every three to five years. In 2014, the college’s previous corpse flower garnered attention from over 1,000 guests. That plant was 11 years old and was named Little John. When visitors come to see the college’s corpse flower, they are asked to donate $3. The money goes to support horticulture scholarships at the college. Although many people want to see the magnificent flower, not everyone can handle the smell. To help more people see Little Dougie, the college set up a webcam that allows anyone to view it on their computers. Administrators post the webcam link and several announcements well before the plant is expected to bloom each time.



About Orange Coast College

Orange Coast College is located in Costa Mesa in Orange County and is the county’s top-rated college. The campus spans 164 acres and is close to the beautiful Southern California coastline. OCC was founded in 1947 and started offering its first classes in 1948. Since then, the campus has grown considerably. OCC is hailed as one of the nation’s best and largest community colleges today. It boasts an average enrollment of 25,000 students per semester. The school’s high-quality facilities reflect the millions of dollars that were spent on them. With over 135 academic programs to choose from, OCC has one of the most extensive catalogs among American community colleges. One of its most notable programs is the nautical program. Career and technical education courses are the most popular choices, and nearly 50 percent of the students are enrolled in programs in one of these two categories.


Many of the students who start at OCC later move to one of the University of California campuses or seek a degree from the four-year college online. Also, many students transfer to a California State University campus to seek a four-year degree and later a graduate degree. Some students transfer their credits to private colleges across the state. With its high standards and accreditation, OCC is known for courses that transfer well to four-year colleges. OCC is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. In addition to offering outstanding academic choices, the college is known for attracting talented athletes to its college sports programs. There are programs for men and women for sports such as basketball, baseball, golf, beach volleyball, swimming and many others. As it is with many other community colleges in California, OCC offers low tuition to students who are residents of the state. This saves students who want to move on to a four-year degree program a considerable amount of money in comparison with attending a state college or university for the entire time.

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