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Surprise! A Corpse Flower Just Bloomed at the Botanic Garden

The first flower, “Spike,” wilted under pressure, but “Alice” is now stinking up Glencoe just fine.

Photo: Courtesy of the Chicago Botanic Garden

Spike the corpse flower took all the spotlight in recent weeks—and finally wilted under the pressure, forcing the Botanic Garden to manually bloom the flower—but it turns out there was another titan arum waiting in the wings.

Alice, the name of the Botanic Garden’s second corpse flower, bloomed last night with little fanfare.

Corpse flowers take about 12 years to bloom, and when they do, the smell they release can best be described as “noxious.” As Chicago associate editor Whet Moser detailed during Spike watch:

The heat essentially vaporizes and disperses the chemicals that cause its smell, like a plug-in air freshener that smells like rotting flesh. (Or “limburger cheese, garlic, rotting fish, and smelly feet,” or “rotting fish mixed with burnt sugar.”)

So now’s your chance to sniff some rotting fish with burnt sugar. Alice will be on display until 2 a.m. tonight, as well as from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow. For more details, check out the Botanic Garden’s website.

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