Corpse Flower Redux: Stop-Motion Video Catches Bloom, Decline of Stinky Plant -- and a Couple of Hippies

Our loyal readers, as well as those with a disproportionate interest in malodorous local flora, remember a series of articles we wrote in early July about San Francisco State's shrinking violet of a corpse flower. After holding out for days past experts' repeated predictions of its imminent stinky bloom -- an event that only occurs once in a decade, if then -- the otherworldly looking plant noxiously opened over the July 4 weekend.

We were there with our camera to document the event. At the time, we noticed a camera (better than ours) mounted directly above the corpse flower and snapping automatically every seven minutes. We finally stumbled across the resultant stop-motion video -- and, like most stop-motion videos, it was a thrill. But it caught more than just a stinky plant. It caught ... some hippies!

Hi guys!

You may have noticed this duo as well. Right before the 35-second mark on the above video, their grinning mugs flash across the screen for an instant; it's nearly subliminal.

It warrants mentioning that all the visitors to the SFSU greenhouse were asked to write down what they believed the corpse flower smelled like. "Trash juice," "rotting meat" and "dead rat" were three submissions I recall off the top of my head -- as was "my pants."

Who wrote "my pants"? We'll never know. But we can guess...

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