Friday, September 10, 2010

WIU Titans Still In The News

LiveScience has an article about the upcoming bloom of a titan at Binghamton University. The highlighted links lead to articles and pictures of the WIU Titans.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Audubon Online Article

Audubon had a news article about the Titan that recently bloomed in Houston, Texas. They also had the time lapse of WIU Titan #3 in the article.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Rise and Fall of Titan #3

This is a cool time lapse of Titan #3. The pictures were taken with a Plant Cam borrowed from the WIU Office of University Relations. It begins on June 16th when the inflorescence was only 29 and 5/8 inches tall with the camera taking one picture every three hours. On June 24th, you will notice the whole plant has been rotated approximately 180 degrees. With the opening of the spathe getting closer, the Plant Cam is reset to take a picture every hour. The 6 p.m. picture from June 29th is of me attempting to pollinate the Titan. The 10 a.m. picture from July 1st has myself and Dr. Edwards caught taking male and female flower samples.

This video can also be seen at:

The same video but taking only one third of the time to play can be seen at:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Titan #2 Update

Just to update what Titan #2 is doing. It is a little over four feet tall this morning and the leaf sheaths are starting to split and expose the top of the leaf.

Better Luck Next Time

It appears my attempt to pollinate did not take. The peduncle (inflorescence stalk) is turning from green to yellow. I now expect the entire inflorescence to wither and the corm to go into dormancy with no fruit and consequently no seed developing.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Let a Little Air In

This morning, after seeing all the mold on the spadix and the outside of the spathe, I decided to peel the spathe back to see what was going on inside. The white cotton like stuff is mold. I am hoping it will go away with exposure to light and air. The female flowers or carpels are the reddish orange objects while above them are the male flowers. Interesting item, there appears one female flower in with the males. At this point, the carpels still look good so there is hope my efforts at pollination may be successful.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Titans 2 & 3

The spadix and spathe of Titan #3 continues to wither. Hopefully, the peduncle will stay and have fruits developing on it. The camera for the LIVE! Video Feed on ustream was moved this morning so Titan #2 can now be seen. The above picture is from the same height and angle as that video camera. The white stake to the right of Titan #2 is for reference. It has black lines that are one and two feet from the top of it.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Spadix Collapses

The spadix on Titan #3 collapsed sometime between early Sunday afternoon and late Monday morning. The peduncle (infloresence stalk) stills seems very solid. This gives hope to my attempt at pollination.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Behind the Spathe

On the lower portion of the spadix and concealed by the spathe are the actual flowers of the titan. The solid yellow items towards the top of the picture are the male flowers. The female flowers are the red-reddish orange items. The little yellow specs are pollen.

Still Hanging On

This is what Titan #3 looked like this morning. It is still open some and has a very light smell.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

WIU Titan #2 Update

Titan #2 is slowly growing. This morning it was measured to be 26 inches tall. For the past eight days, it has been averaging only about 1 and 1/4 inches of daily new growth. The picture compares titans 1, 2 and 3 when they were all at approximately same height. If you notice, the shape of Titan #2 bud is different than 1 and 3's, which were inflorescences. I'm thinking #2 will be a leaf. As I know more, I'll post it here.

No Flash/Flash

As you can see by the captions, both of these pictures were taken this morning of Titan #3. The one on the left is without flash, just natural light, while the right picture is with flash. This is just to show why the Titan appears to be darker in color in some pictures and not in others.

Oh yes, Titan #3 is still open this morning and smelling (some but not like Tuesday night - Wednesday morning). The greenhouse will be open pretty much regular hours 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday.

The LIVE! video feed will be up for a week or so.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

There's More to a Titan Than You Would Expect

10 and 4 ish

The top picture was taken around 10 a.m. The spathe is still full out at this point and looking in good shape. The bottom picture was taken a little after 4 p.m. As you can see, the spathe has started to close. The edges of the spathe are a darker color, confirming it's continuing decline.

Time Lapse of Titan #3 Opening

This is a great time lapse video of Titan #3 opening. It was put together by Teresa Of WIU's University Relations Office.

Texture and Color

From Above

Greenhouse Open

The greenhouse is open now this morning for anyone wanting to stop by. It will be open today until 4:30 or so.

Doing Fly and Beetle Work

This picture is of the female flowers. If you were watching the live feed you would have seen me around 6 p.m. dusting a little pollen on them. The yellow specs are the pollen. When Titan #1 bloomed in May, I collected it's pollen for future use. Of course as always, for a bigger image just click on the picture.

Fully Open

When the spathe fully opened, it measured 44 inches across. The angle of this picture is from above, about where the live video camera is located. If you watched or are still watching the live feed, this will give you some idea of the overall size as approximately half the spadix is not seen in the live feed.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Titan #3 is Opening!

Titan #3 is in the process of opening this afternoon. It will be fully open by 8-9 p.m. The greenhouse will be open at least until midnight for everyone to stop by and check it out.

If you can't see Titan #3 in person, follow it on the LIVE! Video Feed.

Is Today the Day?

Is today the day Titan #3 opens? When I opened the door to the Propagation Room where the titan is located, there was a perceivable odor. It was not very strong but just noticeable. Again, if it decides to open today, we will know somewhere between 1 - 3 p.m. The greenhouse is open usual hours 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The day the titan opens, I will have the greenhouse open at least until midnight. If it is at all possible, you should stop by the greenhouse and see the titan in person. The pictures in this blog and the live feed are good but really do not do it justice.

Titan #3 measured at 79 and 3/4 inches this morning. The circumference was 39 and 3/4".

Monday, June 28, 2010

Another Cool Time Lapse Video

Another video from Teresa of WIU's University Relations Office showing time lapse photos of Titan #3.

Last Bract Fell

Last night, the last bract fell on Titan #3. It should open either today or tomorrow. When it decides to open, it will start in the afternoon, sometime between 1 and 3 p.m. and then be fully open by 8 or 9 p.m.

The daily growth has slowed significantly to only 1 and 5/8 inches for the past 24 hours. This is another sign that it will open very soon.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

One More Bract

As you can see in the picture, there is only one bract left to fall away as the one on the left side of the inflorescence fell last night. I expect the remaining bract to fall today or tonight. We should then expect this titan to open Monday or Tuesday.

The daily growth slowed for a fourth day now. The list to the right documents that trend.

The greenhouse will be open today from 1 - 6 p.m. for anyone that wants to check the titan out.

When Titan #3 opens, I will post that alert here as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Oh and I'll be off and on the Live Feed chat feature.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Six Feet Tall

The daily growth rate for Titan #3 continues to decline for a third straight day. It only put on another 4 and 1/8 inches of height; however, it did exceed the six foot mark. Titan #2 has added another 1 and 1/8 inches in the past 24 hours. That is the fourth day now it has grown and inch or better.

I still believe the opening is 2 to 3 days away. Some of the smaller bracts have turned brown but the two largest bracts are still holding on pretty good. Steven at EIU says when the last bract falls, the bloom will open in 1 -2 days.

Friday, June 25, 2010

#2 on the Move?

Titan #2 has kicked out a little growth spurt. It has put on an inch to an inch and one-eighth of new height each day for the past three days.

Getting Closer

The daily growth of Titan #3 has slowed for the second day now. When it was measured this morning, it had only added 4 and 5/8 inches of height in the past 24 hours. I still think it may be 3 to 5 days before it opens, but then I was off on predicting when Titan #1 was going to open.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


This morning, I rotated Titan #3 so it's spath would face the live feed camera. This picture is that view. It measured 64 inches tall this morning. That is another 5 inches of height.

Also, in the picture, you may notice a white stick with 2 black lines on it. The lines are one foot and two foot from the top of the stick. I thought this may aid everyone in getting some perspective on the titan's size.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Little Early

This is a picture taken yesterday of Titan #2.

Video with Time Lapse

This is a video put together by Teresa in University Relations.

Front and Back

A little something different for the picture this morning. The left side is the view of Titan #3 from the same angle as the live video feed camera. The right side of the picture is the side facing away from the live video feed camera.

The height of Titan #3 was measured at 59 inches this morning. It has now passed the height that Titan #1 achieved in May.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Twitter and Facebook

I've added Twitter and Facebook links, see the list to the right.

Live Video Feed Back

The internet connection to the greenhouse is back. Live video feed is up on Ustream. I raised the camera so the view is at a different angle than before.

Partial Internet restored

Titan #3 is 5 and 5/8 inches taller when measured this morning. Up to 53 and 1/8 inches. Internet in Waggoner Hall working so I can update this, however, internet connection for the live feed from the greenhouse still not up. I raised the camera for the live feed, so angle of view will be a little different.

Internet Down

This morning there is no internet at school. I assume due to the storm that past through last night. Will update this and also get live feed back online when internet is restored.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Welcome to Summer

With this being the first day of summer, Titan #3 decided to put a little more growth on over the past 24 hours. It measured 47 and 1/2 inches in height this morning. That is 5 and 1/4 inches over yesterday's measurement. I guess the heat and humidity of our Illinois summer agrees with it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Four More

During the past 24 hours, Titan #3 grew another 4 inches. This one definitely looks to be on track to be bigger than Titan #1 inflorescence from May of this year.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Getting With The Program

Titan #3 measured 34 and 1/4 inches tall this morning. That's an increase in height of 4 and 1/4" for the past 24 hours. Check the Daily Growth List to the right and you'll see this is doubled what it has been doing. Spathe and spadix are more exposed this morning.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Spathe Peeks Out

I guess putting the live video on ustream yesterday helped to reveal that this is an inflorescence and not a leaf. Pulling the bract back a little, shows more of the spathe and then a little of the spadix too.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

LIVE Video Feed!

UTech came through and installed a wireless bridge in the greenhouse, so now I can stream live video of Titan #3.

Check it out at...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wed June 16th Titan #3 Update

Titan #3 continues to grow for the past several days at a rate of 2 to 2.5 inches per day.

Daily Growth Change List

On the right and just below About Me, I have added a list that shows the daily height and growth change for Titan #3.

Friday, June 11, 2010

#3 Shoots Ahead

Since the last post, Titan #3 has more than doubled in height, surpassing #2. #3 was measured to be 18 and 1/2 inches this morning while #2 was at 11 and 3/4 inches. The shapes of the buds are still quite different, plus #3 has a crook at it's peak now. I'm still thinking #3 will be a bloom but again, still too early to know for sure.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

WIU Titan #2 & #3

As you can see, Titans #2 & #3 are growing. Titan #2 was measured to be 8 and 7/8 inches and Titan #3 was at 9 and 1/8 inches this morning. If you compare the shapes of the two buds, you can see a difference. Does this indicate anything? I'm inclined to think #2 is a leaf bud and #3 is an inflorescence bud; however, it really is way too early to call.

EIU Titan to Bloom

The Titan that is located in the Thut Greenhouse at Eastern Illinois University is in the process of blooming. This is the second bloom for this plant.

Follow "The Velvet Queen's" second bloom on;

Steven's Blog, Twitter and live.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I collected this stem of Scouring Rush from the Walter Natural Area for the Botany 200 lab. After the lab was over, I have kept it in a flask of water in the greenhouse as it is an easy one to root. The photo is of the fertile stem's spore bearing cone. As always, clicking on the photo will bring up the full size picture and clicking on the highlighted words lead to pertinent links.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Titan Updates

I thought I better provide an update for everyone. This picture is from last night of Titan # 1. If you compare this photo with the one from the last post, which was on Sunday, it has really declined this past week. Now on a brighter note, Titan #2 and #3 both grew 5/8 of an inch over the past seven days. Titan #2 was 5 and 1/8 inches tall while Titan #3 was 3 and 7/8 inches when measured at 8:30 this morning.

I am still working on getting a webcam setup for when the next Titan(s) bloom. Utech personnel are investigating several different possibilities. Hopefully, we will have something figured out.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Titan #1 Update

I was in early today to check the greenhouse and snapped a few pictures of the Titan before heading to Mom's. The inflorescence continues it's decline. The spadix and spath seem to be withering just as rapidly as they appeared. A week ago today it was in all of it's glory. Titan's don't seem to waste any time, one way or the other.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

WIU Titans #2 and #3

Remember back to the April 16th post I talked about the WIU Titan Siblings. Well, Titan #2 has begun to grow some. Go back to the April 30th post to see a picture of it from that day for a comparison.
This picture below is of the WIU Titan #3. It is also just starting to grow. I will be potting it sometime today. I weighed it yesterday and it tipped the scale at 57 pounds.
These two Titans may flower this summer. I won't really know until the new bud gets some size to it, like 18 inches or so. I will provide updates concerning them, so stay tuned.

Thursday May 6th AM Update

Just posting a picture from this morning of how the inflorescence looked. Compared to yesterday's picture taken at 3:43 p.m., the spadix has folded over more. For all of you alert students out there, you should have noted that I made a mistake in yesterday's post, which I have corrected. I said spath when I should have said spadix. Bonus points to all that caught it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Spadix Collapses This Afternoon

The inflorescence continues it's decline with the spadix collapsing this afternoon.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Let's Take A Look Inside

This afternoon/evening, I cut a hole in the spath with the purpose of collecting pollen. Of course I could not pass up the opportunity to take pictures. The bottom picture shows the actual flowers. This is an inflorescence, remember, which is many flowers not just one. The male flowers are all yellow and are above the reddish female flowers. The male flowers have released their pollen, as you can see, so the female flowers must be closed. Again, if you were taking notes, Titans do not self pollinate because the male and female flowers open at different times. Thus the need to stink and look like red meat to attract pollinators that carry the pollen between two Titans.

Tuesday May 4th P.M. Update

I am putting these pictures up to show that the spath has closed a little more through out the day. The smell has diminished even more. You have to be practically on top of it to get a good whiff.

Tuesday May 4th A.M. Update

This morning's post shows how much the spath has continued to close from 8 p.m. yesterday until 6 a.m. today. The greenhouse is open for anyone that wants to stop in. The hours are back to the usual of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. I also measured the height this morning and it was at 58 and 3/4 inches. I did not measure it yesterday , so since the Sunday morning measurement, it has grown 3/4 of an inch. It still smells, but not like it did Sunday evening. You really have to be fairly close to detect it's aroma.