Corpse Flower Update – Not Thursday?

Posted on July 21st, 2010 by

My last looks at Perry, both in person this afternoon at about 5:30 and via webcam up until a few minutes ago, tend to make me think that Perry will not open on the 21st (Thursday), though I could be wrong (that sometimes happens…).  Opening might begin on Thursday…

Friday?  Saturday?  Keep an eye on the one-shot-per-minute webcam that now looks at the seam of the spathe.  Perry will wave at us by peeling back a bit of the spathe.  As Norma Desmond might have said, were she to have been reincarnated as Perry:  “All right, Professor O’Brien, I’m ready for my close-up.”  Perry’s inflorescence will soon reach a pinnacle of magnificent beauty and surging fame, adding to such qualities already in her/his possession…only to soon collapse in a decaying, shambling series of lurches toward dehiscence and mummification.

But, unlike Ms. Desmond, Perry will return.  As a leaf.  A very large, magnificent leaf.  :)



  1. P Budge says:

    Well today is the 22 – it’s my sister Susan’s birthday and I was thinking it would be a GREAT present if Perry were to open. . . . . so I’m not giving up hope. He’s tricky, Perry is. ;-)

    • Brian O'Brien says:

      Sorry about the miss on your sister’s birthday, but Perry appears to have decided to just think about opening for yet another day. I just took a look at the still webcam, and the inflorescence shows no signs of opening that I can see. Perry was highly obliging the last time, opening on Mother’s Day.

  2. Michele says:

    Professor O’Brien,

    How long did it take Perry to open up last time? It seems like Lois is taking her sweet time, she started peeling back on Tuesday and looks like she’s still got a ways to go. Once it starts, how long before Perry reaches that pinnacle?

    • Brian O'Brien says:

      Perry opened up within a couple of days of the falling of the cataphylls for the last flowering, if I remember correctly. We’re beginning to wonder whether or not these plants are telepathic, and that perhaps Lois has convinced Perry to behave this way. Or it could be Audrey, which recently opened at Orchids Limited in Plymouth, Minnesota, after an unexpected delay.

      Full (or nearly full) opening of Perry took about 5-6 hours last time.

  3. Claudia Boleen says:

    Perry II seems to be following the saying, “Bloom where you are planted” and possibly bloom when and where you want to bloom!!! I was in awe of “the arum”. Just re-enforces my belief in a Creator with unlimited resources and plans for His creation. Hope to see the actual flowering. I visited on Wednesday, and was going to stop Thursday, but will hold off a little. Thank you all for your diligent care of one unusual botanical specimen!!!

    • Brian O'Brien says:

      Thanks for your comments, and Perry will indeed have to bloom where he/she is planted. No way are we moving that pot (which, in addition to being ridiculously labor-intensive, might shock Perry into losing the inflorescence). I’m glad that you got to see Perry in an unopened state, and thanks for the compliments on the raising and care of Perry. Keep an eye on the webcams for signs of opening. When we’re sure, we’ll post an announcement on the Gustavus and Corpse Flower web pages.

  4. Rick Brink says:

    Hi Brian-

    Just curious what that Plant/vine is hanging around in the room. Looks very dormant! Fun to watch the progress of Perry!

  5. Brian O'Brien says:

    Hi, Rick. I’m glad to see that you’re following the development of Perry. I hope that you’re able to visit. With regard to the hanging vegetation, that’s the remains of Perry’s gigantic leaf. We’ve found that people find it to be interesting, so decided to leave it. The other dried, dead thing is the inflorescence from last time.

    Here’s a link for photos of the leaf as it surged toward maturity:

    • Rick Brink says:

      Those are great photos to see! It is an amazing growth habit that you get the tree-like leaves for 4-5 years and then the flower from the ground up. Are there any other plants with this growth habit?
      How tall were those leaf growths?

  6. David says:

    I’ve been watching Perry from Florida for quite some time (boring to see a leaf for months with little change though I fully know well what’s going on in the pot).

    I’m curious what you’re planning on doing once this inflorescence dies back? The last leaf that came up was HUGE and it appeared to be close to hitting the apex of the roof. I assume that the next leaf may very well reach it this time, but I also wonder if it may try to go past it but physically couldn’t because of the roof. Any plans about how do deal with that when and if the time comes? If not this next leaf, likely the next one would be the one to do it.

  7. Michele says:

    I have goose bumps I’m so excited! I’ve talked my husband into making the drive down to see Perry in person on Sunday! He’s become a like (another) pet at our house over the past 2 weeks!