Perry’s Fame Increases Dramatically

Posted on May 6th, 2007 by

Yesterday was Honors Day at Gustavus, so we had a big crowd of family and friends of the students visiting. Perry was mentioned twice during the ceremonies – once in Paul Saulnier’s Carlson Award address and once by Dean Eric Eliason. Continuous occupation of the greenhouse by crowds for hours ensued. Several of us, including students Nick Hefty and Emily Pelton, and others served as impromptu providers of facts and background. I eventually had to leave for a while since my voice was starting to give out.

Student interest is extraordinary. I’ve heard multiple accounts of people who have local (on-campus cable network) Channel 7 (live streaming video of Perry and his/her entourage) on continuously in their dorm rooms, and a good bit of cafeteria conversation centers on Perry. One student, whose anonymity I’ll preserve (at least for the moment…) told me that she has become “addicted to Perry.” It’s a good thing that Perry isn’t a magnet. (Note to general audience: that final statement is understandable only to a select few).

One of the most interesting things to observe in the Perry Room is the reaction of young children. They tend to just stand, still and transfixed, gazing upon Perry. Adults have just about the same reaction, but tend to move a bit more.

Perhaps a Cult of Perry will arise. There is, after all a somewhat worshipful air about the room. I suppose that I could volunteer to lead it…

The Sigma Xi Research Symposium on Friday went very well, including the poster on Perry’s background and growth rate by Alex Burum, Emily Pelton, Britt Forsberg, and Emily Hoefs. I’ll consider linking a PowerPoint version of it later. Here’s a link to the abstract.

Last, but certainly not least: the Star Tribune article came out in the Saturday issue, on the front page, complete with color photo of a fully-opened Amorphophallus titanum. Emily Hoefs, Alex, and I were extensively interviewed on Thursday for the article. Here are links to the article and to supplementary information.

The photos that are linked on this post were taken yesterday (May 5, 2007); pictured are Emily Pelton (left) and Dr Cindy Johnson-Groh, our faculty botanist.

See the Titan Arum webcams for a live look at the plant. The image is renewed at five-minute intervals. We now have three cameras linked (distant, top-down, and close-up). The close-up camera will be moved occasionally so as to provide different views.emily-cindy-titanum-050507.jpgtitanum-all-050507.jpgspadix-camera-050507-m.jpgtitanum-top-050507.jpg



  1. Lori says:

    It would be nice to have more current time lapse videos on this website. I don’t know if many people know that they are available in other places.

  2. […] it appears that Perry is now an addiction for some, I thought I would give those addicts a little something extra to look […]

  3. Brian says:

    Click on the link in the second post above for access to the most recent videos and more.