Sunday, July 25, 2010

Smells Like Teen Spirit...

So with Erick out of town for 2 weeks, I faced another weekend of being home with the kids and wondering what to do with them. What better way to spend a Sunday than going to visit my old college and see a Corpse Flower? None that I could think of anyway.

For those of you who might be unaware of what a corpse flower is (as I was up until 2 days ago), it is a rare plant that originates in Sumatra. Gustavus Adolphus College got some seeds for the plant back in 1993 and planted them. The plant (nicknamed Perry) first flowered in 2007 and was over 5 feet tall. This time it stood over 6 feet 8 inches tall. Truly reminded me of Seymore from "Little Shop of Horrors."
Perry's flower opened on Thursday night and on Friday the smell was described like "a decaying corpse" (hence the name corpse flower). By Saturday the docents at the college said it smelled like an outhouse or a very dirty porta-potty. When we visited on Sunday it smelled like somebody really needed to take out the garbage. It was plenty strong for me! I really don't think I would have done well smelling the scent on the prior days.
The third picture shows where they cut a piece of Perry to show the male flowers inside and the pollen. Corpse flowers are pollinated by flies and sweat bees that enjoy its pungent odor.
We were told that Como Conservatory might have a corpse flower bloom in the next year or two. I'm not sure if we'll go or not. It might be a nice "one and done" experience...

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