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All Saints and a corpse flower

"Perry," the corpse flower at Gustavus Adolphus College, began to bloom on Thursday, October 31. Photo provided by Gustavus Adlophus College

Gustavus Adolphus College’s corpse flower, affectionately named “Perry,” started to open Thursday, October 31. Visiting hours for the public will run from 2:00-9:00 p.m. Thursday, and will continue Friday, November 1 from noon to 8:00 p.m.

The corpse flower, known to botanists as Amorphophallus titanum, is a rare flowering plant that is only found naturally in the tropical rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia. With the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world, the corpse flower gets its name from the repulsive scent it emits during the hours after it blooms.

Perry came to Gustavus Adolphus when Professor of Chemistry Brian O’Brien received 20 seeds in 1993 from San Francisco physician James Symon.

After years of careful cultivation, the plant finally bloomed for the first time in May of 2007. When Perry produced an inflorescence, more than 7,000 people visited 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.

The corpse flower is located on the third floor greenhouse of the Alfred Nobel Hall of Science. Signs are posted near the college’s entrances to direct visitors to appropriate parking areas and to the Nobel Hall of Science.

The college has set up a live webcam at gustavus.edu/biology/titanarum/. Questions about visiting the corpseflower can be directed to the Office of Marketing and Communication at 507/933-7520.

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