Archive for Brian O'Brien

Faculty member in the Department of Chemistry; plant nut.



Perry’s Stony Sleep

Perry the Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus titanum) has decided to bypass making seeds this time, and has gone dormant. The dead but still-standing inflorescence had toppled as of Monday this week, and today Nate and I pulled out and mounted the new Perry mummy to dry. ¬†We suspended it on a ring stand for the still-wet […]


Perry’s Spadix Collapses

              Perry the Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus titanum) has been collapsing in various ways since her/his brief but glorious apotheosis last week on the afternoon and evening of Halloween. Early this afternoon, Perry’s wilting spadix gave way and collapsed, leading to the now familiar elephantine appearance of Perry during this […]


Children of the Corm

              Perry the Corpse Flower is a mom and dad! Here’s a partial explanation of the title of this post. Perry the Corpse Flower’s underground part is called a corm. It is a solid structure that’s similar to a potato, but it has only one eye. The corm weighed […]


Perry is Blooming!

This will be just a quick post. The photo below is of Perry, Serenity Mahoney (Gustavus ’15), and Bryan Voigt (Gustavus ’15), taken at 10:08 this morning. Perry had begun to open earlier in the morning, and is now nearly fully open (3:35). More photos to follow in another post.


Perry Powerhouse

Perry the Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus titanum) has grown massively since my last post, and is nearing anthesis. I and various Perryophiles, including a growing number of students, have been documenting this reach for the sky. See captions on each of the photos for details of the surge. Click here for three live streaming Perry webcams. […]


Perry’s Spadix Emerges

The rapid growth of Perry the Corpse Flower’s inflorescence continues to transfix all who are viewing it. The students (Nate Friedley ’15, Serenity Mahoney ’15, Nick Ulen ’15, and alumnus Tuan Tran ’13) and I had photo shoots with Perry this past Wednesday (October 16) and Friday (October 18). The Friday session was coupled with […]


Perry’s Sleepy Interlude

Perry the Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus titanum) went to sleep in July, only to re-awaken in September. That two-month snooze was the shortest so far. Perry’s first post-leaf sleep lasted nearly nine months; the second one was four months (and I was shocked at how short that one was…). The pictures in this post depict Perry […]