Chicago Botanic Garden Corpse Flower Struggling to Bloom

After a long wait, the corpse flower is still trying to open. More than 50,000 people have filed through the Chicago Botanic Garden hoping to witness the rare event of the corpse flower known as Titan arum blooming.

Amorphophallus titanium also popularly known as the corpse flower is a rare and huge plant native to Indonesia. All the month of August, the expectation was high that Amorphophallus titanum in the Botanic Garden in Glencoe will bloom and spread the nauseating stench from where the plant gets its name. The stench is stomach churning, but it attracts crowds of people who have never smelt anything like this.

The show started on August 6 and since then 57,000 persons have filed past the flower. Thousands more have been following the story online. The plant grows by inches in a day, and hundreds more filed past to see the flower bloom. On Sunday, people were surprised to find its outer spathe cut off by scientists to harvest the pollen.

The rare foul smelling flower thus got a helping hand from the scientists when it did not open at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Even after the scientists manually opened the spathe, it did not emit the typical nauseating stink for which the flower is known.

The flower is known as Titan Arum and earned its name of corpse flower for its stink produced when the flowers bloom. In the wild, they are trying to attract dung beetles, flesh flies, insects that are attracted by the stinking smell that resembles decaying animals. These flowers are wonderful and their odor distinct.

Titan Arum usually grows for 7 to 10 years before blooming for the first time. After blooming once, the next blooming frequency can vary a lot. Some plant may not blossom for another 7 to 10 years while some could blossom every two to three years. The process of blooming starts at mid-afternoon and late evening and the flower remain open all through the night.


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