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A rare corpse flower has bloomed at the Chicago Botanic Garden, and a second is poised to soon

Nicknamed the corpse flower, titan arums are rare and can grow for 10 years or more before they start blooming, according to the Chicago Botanic Garden's website.

Chicago Botanic Garden

While the Chicago Botanic Garden has an extensive variety of plants on its sprawling 385-acre campus, one flower in particular is hard to miss.

That's not only because of its gigantic size but its pungent smell.

The garden, in a Facebook post on Friday, revealed its corpse flower named "Sumatra" had started blooming. Nicknamed the corpse flower, titan arums are rare and can grow for a long while -- usually 10 years or more -- before they start blooming, according to the Chicago Botanic Garden's website.

As for "Sumatra" specifically, this is the third time it has bloomed at the botanic garden. In 2017, the corpse flower bloomed within days of another corpse flower there named "Java."

As was the case then, it might not be alone this time either.

Another corpse flower, Spike, is "powering up" to bloom as well, according to the Facebook post on Friday.

The flowers might "team up" and release two times the usual stench to attract pollinators, the garden stated. Titan arums are rare, and whether they're in a botanic garden or in the wild, they don't flower often.

"Each year, the corm sends up a leaf to absorb energy from the sun," the Chicago Botanic Garden explained on its website. "Finally the corm has enough energy stored to send up a flower bud and try to reproduce, and it’s worth the wait: an utterly thrilling visual phenomenon."

Standing a whopping six to eight feet tall while in bloom, titan arums appear as a huge flower. However, they're actually a spadix - a flower structure wrapped by a spathe, which is a frilly modified leaf, according to the garden.

When they're ready to reproduce, corpse flowers emit the rancid stretch they've become known for. As is the case with many flowering plants, the titan arum uses scent to attract pollinators during that time.

But they differ from others in a very unique way.

"Unlike most flowering plants, the arum has tremendous energy reserves that allow it to blast out its scent in one big, hours-long burst," the website stated.

The scent is a magnet for the carrion beetles and flesh flies -- the titan arum’s natural pollinators.

While "Sumatra" at the Chicago Botanic Garden started blooming on Friday - the whole process is likely over now. The bloom cycle often begins in the mid-afternoon one day and ends 24 to 36 hours later, the garden explained.

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