Corpse Flower Could Bloom Soon at Chicago Botanic Garden

Spike the Corpse Flower that has been growing for 12 years could bloom as early as this weekend.

Now located in the Regenstein Learning Campus section of the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, whats officially known as an Amorphophallus titanium or titan arum, has been attracting quite a crowd lately.

People are so happy and excited to see it bloom, and it hasnt even opened yet, said Susan Chad, a master gardener who has been volunteering at the Chicago Botanic Garden recently.

Related: Flower With Awful Smell Almost Ready to Bloom at Chicago Botanic Garden

Chad was on hand on Thursday, her third day overlooking Spike - the name given the the flower by Garden staff.

I never get tired of looking at it. Its like sculpture to me, said Chad, adding that she has no interest in being there when it blooms because the smell is so bad.

Titan arums tend to take 12 years to bloom, and only bloom for one day before closing up for another 7-10 years. Reports have indicated the smell is indeed that bad when it does bloom for the one day.

It will likely be pollinated overnight, start blooming late the next day, but then begin closing the next morning, Chad said.

When it does bloom, the Garden will be open until 2 a.m. in anticipation of a good crowd to view, and smell, the blooming.

Julia Jackson, of Evanston, has been a regular at the Garden while her daughter, six-year-old Emma, has been attending summer camp there.

Its like a blockbuster exhibit for us, said Jackson. Weve seen it about 5 or 6 times and will probably come again to see if we get lucky and see it bloom.

Garden staff also installed a live video feed on Thursday, so interested parties who want to see it bloom but can go without the smell or long lines, can do so online.

It might not be too long of a wait. A titan arum at the Denver Botanic Garden a few days ahead of the one in Glencoe is already blooming.

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