Most flowers are known for their sweet smells, but Orange Coast College is reeling in visitors who want to get close and personal with a flower that is famous for it’s terrible stench.
The Amorphophallus titanum plant, which is aptly called the “corpse flower” goes on display every couple of years at Orange Coast College when it blooms and releases a potent stench that draws in curious students and visitors.
So much so, that the college set up a webcam and visiting hours so people could behold the rare and interesting event. Part of the corpse flower’s intrigue is its elusiveness. It originated from the Indonesian island of Sumatra, but can take a decade before ever blooming for the first time. Once it blooms it only lasts for a day or two, and then you have to wait a few years to see it bloom again.
While the flower’s magenta petals make for a visually appealing bloom, the process of pollination causes the unappealing smell. While flowers in their native location of Sumatra are pollinated by beetles, faculty at Orange Coast College pollinate their plant by hand.
The plant is endangered, which is part of why people are so eager to see it. In 2014 there were over 1,000 visitors to see the last corpse flower bloom at the college. Learn more about Orange Coast College: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_Coast_College and https://www.facebook.com/orangecoastcollege/
The college prepared for a large influx this year by posting public information on visiting hours and location, and by requesting donations to support the horticulture department.
Luckily, the students at the college who want to avoid the smelly plant will find plenty of other places to go on Orange Coast College’s 164 acres.
Besides the college’s semi-famous horticulture department, OCC has more than 135 academic and career programs for students. The community college trains more than half of the enrolled students in career and technical education programs.
The remaining students take entry level classes at OCC and transfer to the University of California and California State University systems, or to private colleges in California or across the nation.
Orange Coast College is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and boasts the latest technology and top notch facilities. With over 25,000 students enrolled each semester, it is one of the largest community colleges in the nation.
Besides smelly flowers to entertain students, they can enjoy being only minutes from Southern California’s beautiful beaches.