What’s that stench coming from Gustavus Adolphus?

Don't be surprised if you get a whiff of rot coming from the Gustavus campus this week.

Gustavus Adolphus Web cam

Perry could bloom as early as today.

It's not the cafeteria.

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For the first time in three years (and only the second time in its life), the college's rare Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus titanum) named "Perry" is set to bloom.

Perry is huge -- 6 feet with a bloom 4 feet in diameter -- and emits a stench that as been likened to:

  • rotting meat

  • rotting fish

  • dirty trashcans in the sun

But don't take it from me. Check out the college site, which has all the background and a one-shot-per-minute Web cam to capture the opening. And don't miss the videos of professor Brian O'Brien explaining the wonder of the plant. (He mentions with a straight face, for example, how the stench carries a "fecal note" -- as if he were explaining wine.)

Description of the smell begins around the 1-minute mark in the video below:

You can see Perry for free once he blooms -- but he's likely to bloom for only a few days. Visitation details are on the site.

If you miss it, you can try again in another three years.