ROSEVILLE, Calif. (CBS13) – Roseville High School has become the first public high school in the world to successfully bring the rare, pungent plant known as the “corpse flower” to bloom.
Biology teacher C.J. Addington said the flower bloomed Saturday night, immediately filling the campus greenhouse with the distinctive odor of rotting meat.
“We’ve been growing this plant for 10 years and it’s the first time it’s flowered,” Addington said.
Students and curious crowds took tentative sniffs of the rare plant, named “Tiger the Titan” after the school’s mascot, which only blooms for a few hours at a time.
“Last night it opened up as a female and it made a really bad stench,” Addington said. “This afternoon and this evening it’ll open up as a male plant and give another big stench.”
Experts say the smell attracts scavenging insects to carry out pollination.
The decade of care and commitment paid off, but it will take a few years for the flower to bloom again. The only other successful blooms in Northern California have been seen at UC Davis and UC Berkeley, Addington said.
Roseville High School is posting updates about the status of the corpse flower on its website.