The Free Press, Mankato, MN

October 31, 2013

Corpse flower blooming today at Gustavus


The Mankato Free Press

---- — ST. PETER — The Corpse Flower at Gustavus Adolphus College, affectionately known as “Perry," started to open up this morning and is expected to be fully bloomed by this afternoon.

Visiting hours for the public are 2-9 p.m. today and noon to 8 p.m. Friday.

The Corpse Flower is located on the third floor greenhouse of the college’s Alfred Nobel Hall of Science. Signs will be posted near the college’s various entrances to direct visitors to appropriate parking areas and to the Nobel Hall of Science.

Also known to botanists as Amorphophallus titanum, the rare flowering plant is only found naturally in the tropical rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia. With the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world, the Corpse Flower’s name comes from the repulsive scent it emits during the hours after it blooms.

When Perry produced an inflorescence in May of 2007, more than 7,000 people came to see the rare plant, which was the first of its kind to bloom in the state of Minnesota. More than 5,000 people came to see the plant the last time it produced an inflorescence in July of 2010.

Perry came to the college when Professor of Chemistry Brian O’Brien received 20 seeds in 1993 from a San Francisco physician named James Symon. After years of careful cultivation, the plant finally bloomed for the first time in 2007.

For those who cannot make the trip to St. Peter, the college has set up a live webcam, which can be accessed by going online to https://gustavus.edu/biology/titanarum/.

For more information, call 933-7520.