There's a new exotic flower blooming at the Chicago Botanic Garden and it could have many admirers "ooing," "ahhing" and "ewwing" by early next week.
The Chicago Botanic Garden says it has moved its first “corpse flower” into the semitropical greenhouse, a move they say they’ve been awaiting for 12 years. The flower could bloom Saturday or Sunday, give or take a few days, according to Julie McCaffrey, a media relations manager at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
The corpse flower, which is known for its unpleasant scent, is the largest flowering structure in the world and the plant at the Botanic Garden marks the first one to bloom in the Chicago area.
“Now we are all watching and waiting for Spike to bloom — a dream of the Chicago Botanic Garden for 12 years!” Tim Pollak, the outdoor floriculturist for the garden, wrote on the garden's website.
The garden named the flower “Spike” “because when you grow a plant for 12 years, you start to think of it as a child.”
The plant blooms for a single day every seven to 10 years, and the garden says it’s nearly impossible to predict the day it will be at the peak of bloom.
When “Spike” is ready to bloom, the garden says the plant will open and reveal “a dark, velvety red ‘bloom’” that will close roughly 24 hours later.
“When it blooms, it puts on a show like no other,” Pollak wrote.
But the remarkable sight will be met with a nauseating stench that the garden says can be detected up to an acre away.
The Huntington Botanic Gardens described the stench as a “a combination of limburger cheese, garlic, rotting fish, and smelly feet.”
The flower is expected to bloom in less than two weeks. When it’s ready, the garden plans to stay open until 2 a.m. so admirers “will have a chance to take in the odor and the remarkable color of the world’s largest unbranched inflorescence.”
“We are so proud of Spike and are also thrilled he is the first titan arum to bloom in the Chicago area,” Pollak wrote.
Fans can follow the blooming process using the plant's hashtag #CBGSpike.