Rare corpse flower could bloom in Glencoe next week

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Monday, August 24, 2015
corpse plant
The rarely blooming titan arum is on display at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

GLENCOE, Ill. (WLS) -- An infamous flower is drawing big crowds to the Chicago Botanic Garden.

After three weeks of round-the-clock nurturing, the experts at the garden in suburban Glencoe said the corpse flower, which has been named Spike, could bloom on Monday or Tuesday.

The flower, formally called titan arum or amorphophallus titanium, gets its name from the pungent smell it produces.

The smell worsens when in bloom, which lasts for only a day or two. The garden will be open to visitors until 2 a.m. on bloom day only and parking fees will be waived after 9 p.m.

Visitors will have only a few hours to experience the flower and its stench, which has been likened to a mixture of limburger cheese, garlic, rotting fish and smelly feet. The odor is strongest in the early morning.

Experts said the plant dropped its bracts, which is a sign that it's ready to bloom. The 66-inch tall plant has drawn 26,000 visitors to the botanic garden.

To view the flower's live webcam, click here.