New Corpse Flower 'Alice' Blooms On Its Own in Chicago After 'Spike's' Disappointment - NBC 6 South Florida
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New Corpse Flower 'Alice' Blooms On Its Own in Chicago After 'Spike's' Disappointment



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    The Chicago Botanic Garden is finally filled with the noxious odor that was left wanting last month when their corpse flower "Spike" failed to bloom.

    A new corpse flower, this one named "Alice," bloomed naturally at the garden Monday night to much less fanfare. In contrast to Spike, which ran out of energy to complete the bloom cycle, Alice bloomed more quickly than expected, according to the botanic garden.

    The corpse flower, or titan arum, is the largest flowering structure in the world, and a typical plant blooms for only a single day every seven to 10 years. When she bloomed, Alice stood 55 inches tall with a girth of 35 inches. Just a few weeks before, she was only 19.75 inches tall with a girth of 16 inches.

    The remarkable sight, however, is usually met with a "decaying, rancid, rotten stench" that can be detected up to an acre away. Tim Pollack of the Chicago Botanic Garden described the smell as a mixture of limburger cheese, rotting fish, sweaty socks, a sweet floral scent and mothballs.

    After Spike's disappointing debut in August, the Chicago Botanic Garden didn't parade Alice around but instead let her mature in relative privacy.

    "Given that titan arums are notably unpredictable flowering plants (and we should know!), we wanted to be sure that she would bloom before we announced her debut," staff wrote on the garden's website.

    Last month, garden staff had to manually open up Spike to allow visitors to glimpse the rare flower's insides. Unfortunately — or fortunately — Spike did not emit the trademark odor of the corpse flower in bloom, even after it had been opened.

    The Chicago Botanic Garden will stay open until 2 a.m. Tuesday to accommodate peak bloom time. Alice will remain on display Wednesday as well from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.