Titan Arum Eruption – The Spadix Emerges

Posted on July 8th, 2010 by

Perry the Corpse Flower (aka Titan Arum, aka Amorphophallus titanum) continues his/her volcanic skyward surge.  In the initial stage of the titanic vegetable eruption, the spathe (the leafy, outer part of the inflorescence), in a grinning, somewhat Elvis-like manner, revealed her/himself to human eyes on July 4, 2010.  Fireworks were set off (probably not in celebration of appearance of the spathe, but it’s an interesting thought…).

Perry’s spadix (the central, columnar part of the inflorescence that gives the genus Amorphophallus its interesting name) first revealed itself today, July 7, 2010.  The spathe peeled back just the slightest bit – to reveal the tip of the stiff, waxy spadix, which will eventually heat up and emit the famous stench that enables Perry’s wild relatives to attract the pollinators that they need for survival of the species.  For those of you who have an interest in the chemistry of odors, I’ll post some items on the chemical composition of the fragrance of the Titan Arum later.

Meanwhile, for your consideration, I’ve included a collage of the development of the Eye of the Inflorescence, culminating with with an initial tantalizing view of the tip of the spadix.  Click the thumbnail for a complete and enlarged view.

The spadix will grow rapidly from this point onward, and I’ll post further photos soon.

The hand model in the initial photo in the collage is Nick Murray (Gustavus ’10).

The 24/7 live streaming Perry webcam is now on line!  Click here for a real-time view.  In addition, the closer standard webcam is still in operation.  Click here for a close-up view of Perry.



  1. Tom Casey says:

    Thank you for this very interesting information.

    Are dates and times available to visit this plant in person?

    Thank you for your reply.

  2. Brian O'Brien says:

    You’re welcome to stop by for an informal visit at any time during the day, even before flowering. If I’m around, I’ll be glad to take you into the greenhouse for a close-up look. My office is just around the corner and down the hall – Nobel Hall 303A.

    Some preliminary information about official viewing hours is now up on the website, and will be updated as we get a better and better handle on the actual day of flowering.