The Corpse Flower at Gustavus Adolphus College, affectionately known as “Perry”, is showing signs that it will soon bloom for the third time in the last six years. When Perry produced an inflorescence in May of 2007, more than 7,000 people came to see the rare plant, which was the first of its kind to bloom in the state of Minnesota. More than 5,000 people came to see the plant the last time it produced an inflorescence in July of 2010.
The Corpse Flower, also known to botanists as Amorphophallus titanum, is a rare flowering plant that is only found naturally in the tropical rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia. With the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world, the Corpse Flower’s name comes from the repulsive scent it emits during the hours after it blooms.
The College plans to once again allow visitors to see the plant when it blooms, which is likely to occur sometime in early November. Visiting dates and times will be posted on the Gustavus website when they become known closer to the blooming of the plant.
The Corpse Flower, which currently sits in the Gustavus Department of Biology’s greenhouse in the College’s Nobel Hall of Science, came to the College when Professor of Chemistry Brian O’Brien received 20 seeds in 1993 from a San Francisco physician named James Symon. After years of careful cultivation, the plant finally bloomed for the first time in 2007.
You can watch Perry grow from the comfort of your own home as well, as the College has set up a live webcam which can be accessed by going online to https://gustavus.edu/biology/titanarum/.
Media Contact: Vice President for Marketing and Communication Tim Kennedy