While most people are drawn to flowers because they smell good, Orange Coast College students, faculty and visitors are coming to check out a flower because of how bad it smells. The Amorphophallus titanum plant recently bloomed, a rare event that produces a rotting smell. Aptly referred to as “the corpse flower” this beautiful and endangered plant originated from the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The plant at Orange Coast College has the nickname Little Dougie, and has enjoyed its home at the college since 2006 where it has grown to a height of almost five feet, and a weight of 30 pounds. However, corpse flowers can grow to be more than 200 pounds.
The distinctive rotting smell is typically produced when beetles pollinate the plant. However, Little Dougie is pollinated by hand by members of the school. It is not surprising that the bloom is such a momentous occasion on the campus because it takes about a decade for a plant to make its first bloom, which lasts about 1-2 days. After that, the plant only blooms every couple of years. Since the college’s last corpse flower drew about 1,000 visitors when it bloomed in 2014, Orange Coast College set up visiting hours and a live webcam for this year’s bloom.
Besides it’s horticulture program, the community college in Costa Mesa, California offers education for trades, skilled professions, and licensed trades as well as transferable courses so students can continue onto California State University or University of California. The school is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and has earned a place as one of the top transfer institutions in the country. Their goal is to provide affordable education for the more than 25,000 students who attend.
Orange Community College is spread out over 164 acres where students can enjoy modern facilities and technology in over 135 career and academic programs. When students aren’t visiting the corpse flower, they can participate in a full array of clubs, sports teams and an Associated Student Body. The college continues to grow and improve, as well as engage with the surrounding community.
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