Perry the Corpse Flower is Opening!

Posted on July 23rd, 2010 by

Perry was ecstatic about an extended visit from her/his dear friend and ardent admirer Emily Pelton (Gustavus 2007) today.  Emily was heavily involved with the Perry event in May 2007, and is now a volunteer for Perry II, along with graduate study for her chemistry Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota.  (See Emily in the photo from today, striking a thoroughly Alexoid pose).  Perry has apparently decided that he/she simply cannot disappoint Emily, so went ahead and started opening tonight (see photo).

I had noticed via the one-shot-per-minute still webcam that the lights were on in the Perry Room, so went over to Gustavus to turn them off.  Upon entering the room, thoughts of the livestock area of the Minnesota State Fair immediately occurred.  A distinctly barnyardy odor filled the room.  The odor had a number of other notes, as well – the overall impression being difficult to describe accurately.

Looking at the back of the spathe, opposite the spathe seam (which was still closed), I saw that the part opposite the seam was opening.  During the first flowering of Perry, the seam opened first, and we had assumed that this would occur again.  Fooled once again by Perry…

The photo that’s included was taken a bit before midnight.  Perry should be substantially open (perhaps completely open) by about 6:00 a.m. or so (if the timing is the same as for the first flowering).



  1. Joyce Rodriguez says:

    Where did Perry originate?

    • Brian O'Brien says:

      Amorphophallus titanum is native to Sumatra. Perry is from a batch of seeds gathered for a conservation project in 1993.

  2. Dimitri Drekonja says:

    Dr. O’Brien- hello from a former advisee. I’m hoping to bring the family down for a bit of nostalgia and a corpse-flower viewing. Hope all is well,


    • Brian O'Brien says:

      Hi Dimitri – it’s good to hear from you. If you happen to read this rather late reply, let me know what you and your family thought of Perry.