Rare Corpse Flower Nearing Bloom at Gustavus

Posted on May 31st, 2016 by

perryGustavus Adolphus College’s corpse flower, affectionately known as “Perry,” is expected to bloom in the next week to 10 days. The inflorescence marks the fourth time the plant has bloomed in the past nine years.

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.

Gustavus plans to once again allow visitors to see the plant when it blooms, which is likely to occur sometime in early June. 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 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 bloomed for the first time in 2007 and was greeted by nearly 7,000 visitors to the greenhouse.

More information, including live video of Perry growing and blooming, is available online at gustavus.edu/perry.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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