Friday, June 17, 2011

Corpse Flower

"It's like petting a hairless animal," says Kandis Elliot, botany illustrator with UW-Madison's Department of Botany, as she checks the tip of the Titan Arum plant's spadix for temperature in the greenhouse of Birge Hall on campus in Madison, Wis., Thursday afternoon, June 16, 2011. Also known as the Corpse Flower, the plant's spadix periodically warms (at times to around 100 degrees Fahrenheit), releasing strong, aromatic oils – similar in process to perfume, but similar in scent to rotting fish and burnt sugar – according to the department's website. Elliot says she has worked at the department for 22 years, and says it's the "best job on campus."
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