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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Prelude to a Stink: SFSU's Stubborn Corpse Flower Still Yet to Bloom

Posted By on Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 1:59 PM

Will SFSU's corpse flower ever open up and stink for the masses?
  • Will SFSU's corpse flower ever open up and stink for the masses?
Is the long-delayed bloom of San Francisco State's reticent corpse flower somehow tied to the state budget process? As it stands, we have neither -- the state is issuing IOUs and the school's 14-year-old corpse flower, predicted as ready to release a nauseating odor and bloom for the first time as early as last Friday is still stubbornly holding out. As of this writing, the flower is decidedly un-stinky and un-bloomed.

Soyary Sunthorn, a worker in SFSU's university communications office, said that the school will still have a viewing of the plant from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. today -- though, again, it will only be a viewing and not a smelling. Should the stench commence tomorrow, then "perhaps" a viewing will be hastily organized (as it is, hundreds of folks have filed into SFSU's greenhouse to see the world's smelliest plant, but none, so far, have smelled it. As noted earlier, greenhouse manager Martin Grantham has offered them the consolation stink of taking a whiff of his small, fly-pollinated stapelia plant -- but it just ain't the same thing).

The quick-thinking Grantham has also managed to make chicken salad out of chicken shit by allowing disappointed visitors to pay one dollar toward a "corpse flower raffle." Whomever guesses the day the flower finally blooms will be able to take home a specimen of one of the "five unusual plants grown in SFSU's greenhouses." 

I know what "unusual plants" some pals in the botany department were growing in their greenhouses back during my college years -- and they sold for far more than a dollar.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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