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Voodoo Lily blooms (and smells rotten) in the Colgate greenhouse

By Matt Hames on February 13, 2014
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The Colgate greenhouse welcomed the opening of one of its most repulsive residents: the Voodoo Lily (a k a Devil’s Tongue and Amorphophallus konjac).

Biology professor Eddie Watkins writes: “The Voodoo Lily is flowering and the smell is lovely. This sweet little addition to our botanical family weighs in at a whopping 26 lbs. and stands at 5 feet tall. Over the course of Wednesday and Thursday, we expect Big Lily (as we lovingly call her) to continue opening and release even more potent bouquets of smelly gym socks mixed with rotting meat dabbled with hints of soiled baby diapers.”

This is totally normal as this species is just demonstrating myophily, a pollination syndrome that has evolved to attract flies.

“Flies around Colgate are happy,” reports Watkins.

So, evidently, are members of the community. Over the past two days, 350 visitors have stopped in to see and smell Big Lily. Tomorrow a group of 50 elementary students will visit.

The greenhouse, located in the Ho Science Center, is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Voodoo Lily

The Voodoo Lily blooms in the university greenhouse.

 

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