The Magnificence of the Corpse Flower

Posted on April 29th, 2007 by

alexhandtitanum040607.jpglichen-pattern-close-m.jpgp1010150m.jpgp1010156m.jpg5a.jpg4.jpg2.jpg6.jpgWell, we’ve been watching this plant grow for a long time now (since 1993, when it was a seed), and its maturation is providing an elegant and beautiful show. Its appearance changes over just the period from morning to afternoon, and the rate of change seems to be increasing. Beginning with the dense lichen-mimic patterns of the sheaths of the emerging shoot, and continuing with the more patchy patterns of parts of the more-developed inflorescence, it is a marvel of camouflage. The continually-developing patterns and textures of the inflorescence are fascinating to watch, and have stimulated an enormous amount of interest so far. I can’t recall ever having encountered so many delighted, fascinated, and awestruck people on our campus within such a short time.

The intensity will continue to increase…

See the Titan Arum webcam for a live look at the plant. The image is renewed at five-minute intervals.



  1. Debbie Morgan says:

    Thank you so much for sharing…

  2. Beth says:

    Our janitor just stopped into my classroom and asked if I had seen the channel 12 news last night. She told me about the plant so I went to your website. What an awesome sight. I cannot wait to show it to my Talented and Gifted students tomorrow when we meet. Thanks for sharing this. I am going to email our Iowa news stations and see if they have an interest.

  3. Kris says:

    Can visitors (such as alumni) stop by to smell this flower in full bloom? After all, it was planted when some of us were in our 2nd year at Gustavus!

  4. Brandy says:


    Absolutely! Folks are still working out logistics, but there will be public viewing opportunities. Check back at this blog or the main campus page ( for more information as the plan develops.