Stinky Corpse Flower Finally Blooms In Chicago

Do you enjoy the putrid, rotting odor of corpses filling the air as you walk through a garden on a lovely Autumn day? If so, you’d be happy to hear that Alice, the corpse flower in Chicago’s Botanical garden, has bloomed successfully on Sept. 19, 2015. The garden remained open until 2 a.m., allowing people to come visit Alice in all of her smelly splendor through to the late hours of the night. This is a special occasion, because corpse flowers only bloom after ten years of maturing, and then again every 2 years or so. Sometimes, the stinkin’ flowers don’t even bloom!

Spike, the corpse flower that couldn’t

This was the case for Spike, the other corpse flower that Chicago’s Botanical Gardens provides a home to. To the disappointment of many, the plant had to be opened by scientists, which meant it also did not release the awful smell that thousands of people gather to get a whiff of. According to its caretakers, there is still a chance for Spike to bloom again; however, people had traveled from all around the world to witness the spectacle the first time, so not being able to see the proper bloom during the specific instance was a bit of a let down. In such a case, it a good thing that Chicago has two of these rare, curious flowers, which bloomed, or attempted to bloom, in close proximal time to each another.

The corpse flower: About the curious plant

Corpse flowers are curious plants for several reason – not just because of their smell. While most people believe the plant is only one flower, it is actually made up of multiple different flowers, hidden at the base of the large stalk that stands erect amid all of the leaves surrounding it. Moreover, the latin name for this plant literally translates to large, deformed penis (Amorphophallus titanium).

The putrid scent is meant to attract certain types of bugs to help with pollination. By having such a “loud” smell – basically a cluster of all the bad smells possible – the flower can entice insects up to an acre away. Let’s hope flowers such as Alice and Spike are continuously pollinated, so people will be able to view this rare occasion for years to come.