Staff gardeners estimate that Dougsley will come into full bloom within the next two weeks, and is currently on display in the Seasonal House for viewing.
We will post growth updates throughout the tremendous growth spurt which is about to take place.
The University of Washington Botany Greenhouse is no stranger to corpse lilies. Former greenhouse manager, Doug Ewing, has fifteen flowering events under his belt, including two that were displayed at the Volunteer Park Conservatory. After a bit of a dry spell at the University, a brave corpse lily has sent up a flower this year. Though this is the first time a plant is blooming without Doug’s dedicated care, this flower is a legacy of his passion.
Doug sowed his first seeds from Palmengarten, a botanic garden in Germany, in 1993 and then in 1995 a second batch of wild collected seed from the Symon expedition in the jungles of Sumatra. In 1999, Doug’s hard work paid off with the first ever corpse lily to flower at the University of Washington. Then in July 2004, Doug struck gold with two corpse lilies flowering within a week of each other. First to bloom was a plant that grew from the wild seed, which provided Doug with ample pollen to pollinate the second flower that grew from the Palmengarten seed. The cross-pollination was a success and when the fruit ripened in October Doug sowed the next generation of corpse lilies.
Though the flower this year may be small compared to its national counterparts, we have a special love for the little guy. Of the batch of seed sown by Doug twelve years ago, this is the first plant that is now finally mature enough to blossom.
UW Biology would like to thank the community for support during construction of the Life Sciences Building and Biology Greenhouse on campus. And special thanks to Amazon for housing UW Biology’s large teaching collection in an ideal greenhouse space during the transition, and to Volunteer Park Conservatory for hosting both the flowering corpse lily and our massive Cycas taiwaniana until 2018 when the new Biology Greenhouse is completed.
You can follow the progress of the UW Life Sciences Building and greenhouse here: https://artsci.washington.edu/campaign/life-sciences-complex
Dougsley will be on display until its bloom fades in the Volunteer Park Conservatory Seasonal House and will be available for viewing daily between 10 am – 4 pm. The evening on which the corpse flower begins to open, we will be open late for observation, both visually and olfactory!