SCIENCE FACTS: Titan Arum is a very proper name for a very large flora, but we humans tend to call it by its catchier, more mordant moniker: Corpse Flower. It's a flower that doesn't come along very often -- let's call it a truly rare event in the natural world -- but when it does, it makes news. It could be that Corpse Flowers can stretch to ten feet tall and it could be that the stink from the bloom is so, well. Not of this world (again, we refer you to the name). But flower fans keep an eye on celebrity Corpses around the world and await those oh-so-quick blooms. A swelling spandix is one sign that the action is about to start, but there are other clues horticulturists keep watch for. And a team has been keeping close watch in Santa Barbara as Chanel, one of the four Titan Arums on the University of California at Santa Barbara campus, is in its prime stinky bloom this week.
VISITING HOURS: They're posted on Chanel's official Facebook page -- we do love it when a Corpse Flower develops an official social media presence -- and you can keep an eye (and a nose) on the whens. The where, of course, is the UCSB campus, although sharp-eye Chanel fans will have noticed that the mega-tall flower has moved out of the greenhouse and into the outdoors in the last few days. But don't dither if you want this particular olfactory experience: "The smell hour approaches" reads an update from the afternoon of Tuesday, July 30, and visiting hours are officially extended. Next hours? As of this typing, Wednesday, July 31 from 5 to 8 p.m. But you can bet that as long as Chanel is a-stinkin', the UCSB will keep welcoming the curious-of-nose.