Titan Arum Youngster’s First Bloom Opening Soon

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A small Titan Arum surprised everyone at the Floral Showhouse several weeks ago by sending up a shoot that has become a flower bud. This Titan Arum wasn’t expected to bloom this year because the underground corm weighed only 27 lbs when it was re-potted. (Pictured above, this year’s first bloom, Morph, stood an impressive 57.5″ tall)

Titan Arums don’t typically bloom until the corm is 35 lbs. This “little guy” has grown steadily every day for the last several weeks and now stands 53.5” tall – impressive for this youngster’s first bloom.

The frilly pleated spathe is still wrapped around the purplish centre spadix on July 22, and the flower is expected to fully open early next week.

Closed Titan Arum shoot

The Floral Showhouse is open 9:30 am to 5 pm daily for visitors to see the Titan Arum and many other floral displays –orchids, cacti, succulents, annuals and tropicals.

For information call 905-356-2241 ext 2400 or follow along with the Titan Arum’s growth online: niagaraparks.com/titan

Titan Update – Any Day Now!

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Like proud parents waiting for delivery day, the anticipation at the Floral Showhouse is almost as high.

The mighty unnamed Titan Arum bud has grown to 65” (taller than Morph who bloomed in June)! All signs point to the unnamed bloom opening tonight or perhaps tomorrow evening.

Titan Arums open during the early evening and immediately start to emit their unique smell. Be sure to pick up one of our smell aversion strategies pamphlets because the blooms smell like rotting flesh. Titan Arums, also called corpse flowers smell this bad to attract pollinating insects in their native Sumatra. There are no Carrion beetles here, but the Titan Arums don’t know that – they still smell just as bad.

Lots of people visited the developing flower bud during the weekend and filled out ballots to give this Titan Arum a suitable name. The Floral Showhouse will stay open late on blooming day. Call 905-356-2241 ext. 2400 for the latest news.

Last week another surprise Titan Arum flower bud appeared – a record 3rd one this year. A young, small corm that was not expected to bloom has sent up a flower bud. So the Titan Arum flower watch has been extended at least for the rest of July!

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Defending Olympic Gold

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Golf hasn’t been an Olympic sport since the third modern games in St. Louis in 1904 when 46-year old Canadian George S. Lyon won gold in what proved to be the last Olympic appearance for the sport for 112 years. It makes its return this year in Rio de Janiero as a 72-hole stroke-play event for 60 men and 60 women. But does anybody really care?

Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland is now one of many top players in the world to pass on the Olympics citing concern for the Zika virus, a mosquito-borne virus linked to brain defects in newborn babies. A number of top golfing stars, including major winners Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel had already pulled out of the games for scheduling and family reasons. McIlroy’s decision is just one more blow to golf’s Olympic movement. While slated to be in the 2020 games, golf’s future as an Olympic sport will be determined well before Tokyo with participation and quality of the field weighing heavily on that decision.

Tennis faced similar issues when it went back on the Olympic program in 1988 in Seoul. Boris Becker and Mats Wilander withdrew with injury, while John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova declined to play. The Zika virus is clearly one issue in Rio but then again in golf’s 112 year absence there really hasn’t been any sort of clamoring among the game’s top players to return to the quadrennial event. Most in the sport seemed perfectly happy with the status quo of four majors, a hand-full of top-tier events, an annual team competition, and then a smattering of run-of-the-mill events throughout the calendar year. And does golf really need the Olympics and do the Olympics really need golf?

When the Australian star Adam Scott announced earlier this year that he wouldn’t be competing in Rio, citing travel concerns and time away from family, golf’s power brokers were hoping he’d be a lone wolf, opting out of an event most athletes dream about. Others feared that he might be opening the floodgates.

For starters the men’s Olympic competition August 11-14 caps-off a hectic summer schedule of three major championships from the U.S. Open (June 16-19) through the PGA Championship (July 28-31), and a World Golf Championship at Firestone. The British Open ends on July 17 at Royal Troon in Scotland. The PGA Championship begins 11 days later at Baltusrol in New Jersey. Nearly half of the men’s current field for the Olympics would then have one week off before the FedEx Cup playoffs begin in New York on August 25. Three straight weeks of playoff events would be followed by one week off, the Tour Championship, and then straight to Minnesota and the Ryder Cup for U.S. and European players.

While there are a half-dozen reasons why a top player would pass on Rio, the Zika virus among them, one key reason could simply be apathy. Golfers don’t grow up dreaming of winning a gold medal. They aren’t swimmers or track stars and the Olympics are not the ultimate prize for a golfer. A green jacket, U.S. Open, Claret Jug, Wanamaker Trophy – those are the real prizes for which golfers play. No kid anywhere in the golfing world has ever been on a putting green pretending to be George S. Lyon imagining that he was standing over a 15-footer to win a gold medal. Well, maybe not. After all, Canada is the defending champion. Go Canada, Go.