Titanic Titillations

Posted on July 16th, 2010 by

Perry the Corpse Flower continues her/his coyness with regard to his/her actual date(s) of opening.  Signs of the impending burst of full flowering will be:  falling away of the cataphylls at the base of Perry’s now-titanic inflorescence (signifying roughly two days until full flowering), and a heavy surge of purple pigment into the leafy tips of Perry’s lush, spadix-enveloping spathe.  Both phenomena are beginning to occur now.  The cataphylls are drying up, and purple pigment is pumping into the peripheral part of Perry’s spathe, a visual vegetable mimic of an arterial flow…for now.  Soon, the entire interior of the spathe will be steeped in deep maroon.  Keep up with the webcams for timely updates from Perry herself/himself.

Click on the thumbnail for some visual data from today on Perry’s status. We’re nearing the home stretch!

Click here to see a sequence of photos of Perry over the past few weeks (the set also contains photos of withering of Perry’s leaf as dormancy set in).



  1. Gwen Bents says:

    Please let us know if there will be public viewing scheduled. Days and hours. Visited yesturday but found everything locked up. Very exciting to follow this event.

    • Brian O'Brien says:

      It’s great to hear that you’re following Perry’s development. We’ll make an announcement of the official public viewing schedule when the inflorescence opens. Meanwhile, you’re welcome to stop by for an informal visit.

  2. Adelle Jacoby says:

    We would like to know if there will be a current update as this is 3 days old. We would be able to come tomorrow the 20th. What are the chances of Perry being ready by then? How long would it be in bloom once it opens? Keep up the good work. Very interesting.

  3. Brian O'Brien says:

    Thanks for your comments and inquiries. Public viewing is planned, and will be announced on the website. That will probably be done the day before flowering (provided that we can obtain enough confirmatory signs that opening is about to occur). It’s hard to predict exactly, though.

    At this time (11:00 Monday morning), it looks as though Perry will not be opening on Tuesday the 20th. One sign to look for is falling away of the cataphylls (leafy bracts at the base of the inflorescence). When that occurs, flowering is probably one or two days away, so keep a close watch on the webcams.

    When it’s determined that opening is occurring (it started late in the afternoon last time), we’ll post it on the Gustavus website as well as on the Corpse Flower pages.

    The inflorescence is actually at its peak in the early morning hours. With the last flowering, we thought that the best time was probably around 2-3 a.m. By noon, we could see slight wilting in the inflorescence. For a couple of days after flowering, the inflorescence is still in pretty good shape, though wilted, and the odor is still there.

  4. Anne Lageson says:

    Any chance viewing hours will extend into the evening? We’d really like to see the bloom but can’t leave work in the cities until 5:00 pm and with traffic, I’m not sure what time we could be there.

    • Brian O'Brien says:

      We’re planning to extend the viewing hours on the first day of flowering. The times will be posted on the website.