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Flowers in the News: June


June has been busy month for flowers, which have found their way into everything from science journals to the local news. Here is best in floral industry news for this month:

Rare MSU Plant Blooms for the First Time in 15 Years

The amorphophallus titanum, or corpse flower, bloomed at the Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden June 11, filling the greenhouse with its signature scent. “It’s so big and it smells so nasty, like a dead animal on the side of the road that’s been there for about seven to eight days, but it’s a way cool thing,” said Norm Lownds, curator for the Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden and associate professor in the MSU Department of Horticulture. “It’s really unique because it flowers so infrequently.”

The corpse flower is often referred to as the largest flower in the world. However, the corpse flower isn’t a flower at all, but rather a cluster of flowers, or an inflorescence. Plant biology graduate student Michael Grillo told The State News that the corpse flower evolved to use its stench to attract beetles and flies to pollinate.

According to The State News, the flower has been part of the teaching collection for decades and cared for by greenhouse manager John Mugg. However, Mugg was teaching an environmental science study abroad album in Hawaii when the plant bloomed.

Hundreds of Flowers Stolen from Spokane, WA, Cemetery

Groundskeepers at Holy Cross Cemetery in Spokane, Washington, noticed hundreds of  potted flowers missing days after the cemetery sold about 750 of the arrangements to the public for Memorial Day. A tip led the groundskeepers to a home selling the flowers at a discounted price. The flowers started reappearing after those who bought them saw the report on a KHQ broadcast. Groundskeepers said about 6 potted flowers have been returned as of June 8.

Thousands of Sunflowers Delivered to Michael Jackson’s Crypt

After hearing Lisa Marie Presley complain that Jackson’s Glendale, California‘s mausoleum was looking bare, grower Jason Levin delivered $3,000 to $5,000 worth of sunflowers to the heavily-guarded site. According to MSNBC, Levin, owner of The Sunflower Guy in San Diego County, loaded the flowers and drove three hours to make the delivery.

Salt Lake City Council Battling Budget to Keep City Buds in Bloom

Facing a nearly $19 million budget shortfall, Salt Lake City, Utah, city council members are working eliminate a proposed $230,000 cut, which would shut down the city’s famed greenhouses and remove blooms at the International Peace Gardens, Liberty Park, Washington Square and the monument plaza in Sugar House. Council Chairman J.T. Martin told the Salt Lake Tribune that letting the flowers die and replanting them during more stable economic times would “cost taxpayers 10 times as much.”international-peace-garden

One of the most famous of the city’s gardens, The Peace Gardens, boasts native plants, including 30 types of Swedish lilacs and Magnolia trees from China, arranged in ornate displays. Irene Wiesenberg, chairwoman of the International Peace Gardens Committee, said that the proposed cuts would force much of the garden to replaced by grass and watered 25 percent of the time.

Studies Confirm Flowers Improve Quality of Life

According to the Ukiah Daily Journal in Ukiah, California, scientists are finding a link between flower’s ability to improve moods and increased quality of life. Scientists performed three studies, published in the April 2005 edition of Evolutionary Psychology, that demonstrated flowers’ ability to positively impact mood. In the first study 147 women reported elevated moods for three days after being presented with a single flower.

In another study, 122 men and women were handed either a flower, pen, or nothing while riding on an elevator. Those who received a flower spoke more, stood closer to others, and smiled more often during the ride. The last study involved delivering bouquets to 113 men and women in a retirement community. The recipients reported positive moods and increased memory function.

It’s no secret that flowers can perk up a mood. However, as scientists learn more about how to harness their positive power, we could potentially see them being used in a clinic setting to improve healing and quality of life.


  1. Stunning picture of the flowers, will definitely make my day. Keep posting.

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