When the plant nicknamed "Perry" bloomed in 2007, more than 7,000 people came to see it.
It's a corpse flower, a rare plant from the tropical rainforests of Indonesia. The flower's name comes from the repulsive scent it emits during the hours after it blooms.
The Associated Press reports the rare plant is apparently preparing to bloom for the third time in six years at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. The college is keeping cameras trained on the plant so that Internet fans can watch. (The expression "watching paint dry" may be replaced by "watching a plant preparing to bloom.")
The Mankato Free Press reports the plant came to Gustavus as a seed in 1993. The seeds were distributed in an attempt to preserve the plant, which is threatened by habitat loss, according to Chemistry Professor Brian O’Brien. He said that a taller spadix — the flower covered central shaft — and a purplish-maroon pigment to the spathe, the large leaf the curves around the spadix, are signs that a bloom is imminent.
The college again plans to allow visitors to see the plant once it blooms.