The Velvet Queen is one of a few corpse flowers of its kind anywhere—it had three flowering spikes bloom, all from a single corm, or bulb-like tuber. Eastern Illinois University donated the rare Amorphophallus titanum to the Garden in 2018. The Velvet Queen first bloomed for the university in 2008 and has bloomed every two years since (it was donated to us after flowering in 2018).
When we repotted The Velvet Queen in January, we could see that the plant's corm had three growing tips. This is unusual in cultivated corpse flowers, and we were excited to see what would happen. As it turned out, our small on-site team got a big surprise in the staff-only production greenhouses—and treat. It's unsual enough for one corpse flower, or titan arum, to power up for a single bloom. We saw one plant produce an extraordinary triple bloom, over three days in May. We affectionately dubbed the plant our "three-headed monster."