This is my last Ted the Titan post, I promise. He finally bloomed on Monday night, and Ernesto and Tim were there almost the whole night, monitoring him and taking temperature readings. The spadix of the flower (the big phallic-looking thing in the middle) got up to 100 degrees F in places during the height of the blooming. Here are some final pictures of the inside of the flower. Check out the deep burgundy, nice.
They cut a small hole in the side of the flower so we could see the tiny little flowers at the base. They are also going to harvest some of the pollen and share it will other conservatories across the country that have titan arums. The flowers on the bottom are female, and they become receptive first, which is the reason for the intense stink (attracting flies that have pollen on them from visits to other arums). The ones on top are male and they will release their pollen after the female flowers are no longer receptive, in order to avoid self pollinating.
In other news, my 12 year old cat, Tarquin, finally passed away last night. She had diabetes and kidney problems, so it was her time. Here are a few pictures of her in her better years.
Isn't she beautiful?