‘Corpse Flower’ Blooms at Chicago Botanic Garden

titan_arum_20150929_1570Like Toucan Sam always said, follow your nose. But I followed the fumes and I’m wondering what’s that smell??

A flower? I should have taken the advice of Outkast to know that roses always smell like boo boo.

But that still isn’t the case. This flower is named Alice and its getting treated like a queen up at Chicago Botanical Gardens in Lake County.

Alice is an Amorphophallous or a titan arum flower (corpse flower) has just finished the bloom cycle. The Botanical Garden flower is beginning its frutescence stage – which means it’s creating fruit from pollination. That’s where the stinkiness is detected. Chicago Botanic Garden refer to Alice as their second titan.

The flower hails from the Sumatra Island of Indonesia.

As of September 29, the flower has expanded to 55 inches big! It can actually get all the way up to eight feet tall. This was quicker than expected, because experts believed the flower to begin around October 1.

Alice sits in a greenhouse hidden away from direct sunlight and hydrated frequently.

titan_arum_20150929_1649When looking at the spike in the middle, a thermographic camera detected that the core of Alice is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. This means the bloom has begun.

The spathe (a frilly modified leaf) begins to pull away from the tall spadix (flower spike); Alice’s internal temperature begins to increase to help volatize the odor to attract pollinators.

Take a trip out this weekend to Chicago Botanic Garden to see the corpse flower that’s received nationwide press. Continue here for more information about the Titus arum flower named Alice.

Chicago Botanic Garden
100 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe

Watch the flower bloom below.



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