The corpse flower story of Chicago was a bit of disappointment back in August. Spike, the much anticipated titan arum, never bloomed by itself, after which it had to be opened manually. But the garden authorities have taken down notes from it, following which they have now successfully bloomed Alice, Chicago’s first ever titan arum, aka corpse flower.
The giant 1.4-meter flower bloomed at the Chicago Botanical Garden recently, and thousands flocked in to adore the rare corpse flower blooming, and they were not disappointed. The gates of the garden were kept open until 2 am on Wednesday last week for the citizens to have a glimpse of the flower.
The semi-tropical plant, scientifically known as Amorphophallus titanium, is regarded as the one with the world’s largest unbranched inflorescence. The flower is native to the Sumatran islands in the south-eastern Asia.
A common attribute of the giant corpse flower is its rotting smell, which biologists say is for luring pollinators for its reproduction. However, that was something missing in Alice. Even with the smell of Limburger cheese, garlic, rotting fish and smelly feet, it wasn’t however as smelly as expected, said the garden officials.
Alice was also less anticipated than Spike, the titan arum that was planted at the garden during summer, and had its bloom a bit earlier than expected.
Garden officials said the previous failed bloom and its webcam views had readied the garden for the blooming of Alice. The arum plant blooming was also live-streamed this time on the website of Chicago Botanic Garden.