The corpse springs to life


Reader Corrie Patrick has just sent this photo from a trip today to St. Paul’s wonderful Como Conservatory, where the “corpse flower” is in bloom. And by, “in bloom,” we mean it stinks to high heaven… like death, they say.

“It did not disappoint,” Corrie says, as if you could be disappointed by the reeking smell of death from a plant whose Latin name means misshapen penis.

The bloom only lasts 1-2 days (it started opening yesterday afternoon) and the smell is much shorter. “By closing time tonight, there is the possibility that the smell will have disappeared and the spathe will have started to close up and again cover the base of the spadix,” the Conservatory’s website says.

It’s staying open late tonight for the occasion ( 9 pm).

It is named “BOB, too,” but not for the reason you might think. It was obtained from Gustavus Adolphus College’s chemistry professor Dr. Brian OBrien. It is 18 years old and has never bloomed before.

(h/t: Corrie Patrick)

  • Missed it again. Darn!

  • Jim Shapiro


    Might those snazzy goggles worn by the reporter in Greece come in handy for this floral experience?

    And nice self-deprecatory humor with the “BOB”.

    (Do you have any Jewish blood in those Irish veins? There are theories that the lost tribe landed on the emerald isle, you know 🙂

  • Josh

    Looks like I will have to stop by this afternoon.

  • Take the time to view, and smell, the corpse flower. This is one of those cases where you must experience the event to fully appreciate it. But if you can’t make it, here are some photos I took last July of Perry’s blossoming at Gustavus:

    As you will see, some visitors came fully prepared to evade the flesh-rotting odor.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Too bad ( or in this case, perhaps good thing) that John Waters’ “Smell-O-Vision” never caught on.

  • cara

    I’m going tonight at 8. I hope some, but not all, of the fragrance will be left.

  • Just came back from visiting. A volunteer says it’s not nearly as bad as yesterday but you can still get a really good whiff of the odor if you stand towards the right wall as you enter the alcove it is in.

    Yes, it smells exactly like rotting meat.