Behold, the process of hand-pollination of the Corpse Flower as seen through the lens of a tiny borescope! (And ha, you thought the Amorphophallus titanum updates were over.)
On Sunday morning, after the big bloom had peaked sometime in the middle of the night, a team of botanists lowered a teensy camera into the the closing burgundy folds to get a close-up view of the itsy bitsy flowers sitting deep inside the ginormous inflorescence (see top pic: male flowers are the white cauliflowerish ones on top, female flowers are the longer purplish ones below), cut a hole in the plant (see 2nd row of pics, knife looks like a shark fin), and then used a little paintbrush to apply pollen from another Corpse Flower to the female flowers. The pollen was from a recent bloom at Orange Coast College. Now, in the wild, these things are pollinated by insects that don’t need to use borescopes to carry out their business, which most likely means that none of those insects have awesome borescope images to post on tumblr. Take that, insects.