A community college located in Orange County, California celebrated the blooming of an exquisite plant known as Titan Arum or “corpse flower.” Nicknamed Little Dougie in honor of Doug Bennett, executive director for Orange Coast College‘s charitable foundation, the plant is indigenous to Sumatra, Indonesia and emits an acrid odor similar to a dead body.
The flower’s spadix, or inner stem, sprouts its purplish-crimson petals once in a decade as beetles pollinate the female reproductive pistil. Not only does the odious smell attract these food-seeking pollinators, but throngs of people seek a wrinkly- nosed experience upon gazing down the beautiful skirt-like petals. Hundreds of corpse flower pilgrims traveled to the college’s arboretum green house in 2014 and last May to witness the exotic flora and its lovely stench.
Orange Coast College’s horticulture program is home to a prestigious community college well respected for its breadth of academic curriculum and high transfer rate to reputable universities, including University of California and California State University. Over 25,000 students are enrolled in classes offered year round during fall, winter, spring, and summer semesters. Within walking distance of Newport beach, the 164 acre campus in Costa Mesa offers an attractive Career and Technical Education program with almost fifty percent current enrollment. In addition to ranking sixty five out of five thousand associative degree-giving community colleges, students can participate in a lauded Professional Mariner program – offering valuable trade skills for careers in the nautical and maritime industry. Home of the pirates, students enjoy a diversely rich athletic program in a multi-cultural and competitive environment.
Providing two year Arts and Science Associative degrees, the accredited institution also guarantees transferable credit from lower division classes to four year universities. Recognized as number one in Orange County for the highest amount of transferable graduates to UC and CSU campuses, degree-bound undergraduates receive valuable career guidance and financial aid opportunities. Donating three dollars to the college’s horticulture scholarship program through the Corpse Flower display is one way students can receive financial support to achieve their career goals.
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