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In Bloom at EMU

Posted on March 20th, 2008

Christina Harman, EMU student
Christina Harman, a sophomore environmental science major from Harrisonburg, Va., admires an uncommon plant showing off in the Suter Science Center greenhouse. Photo (and insert) by Lindsey Roeschley

This week only, there is an uncommon plant showing off in the Suter Science Center greenhouse.

Amorphophallus konjac, also known as Konjac or Snake Palm, is from eastern Asia and has an eye-watering “distinct scent” that attracts flies for pollination.

Despite the scent, part of the plant (the underground corm) is used in many dishes, in which the scent of the flower does not affect the flavor of the food, according to Dr. Shelly Thomas, assistant professor of biology.

The flower is expected to bloom for only about one week. It is on loan from Robert and Gretchen Maust, EMU alumni from Keezletown, Va., and is a descendant of a plant belonging to Dr. Ervie Glick, professor emeritus of German.

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