Scads of people have made a beeline to see second corpse flower Alice the Amorphophallus in full bloom in Chicago.
Many people entered single file to observe the corpse flower in Chicago’s Botanic Garden. That was on Thursday. The 4.5 feet long flower may have been in peak form but it stank less than was expected which was a relief.
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Termed the titan arum, the flower will remain in full bloom for 24 to 36 hours. Usually the flower stinks to high heaven. It gives off a rotten smell of putrid flesh. The function of this malodorous smell is to lure insects and other pollinating agents.
However, this time around thanks to the open space surrounding it, the smell had evaporated. One of the administrators of the Botanic Garden said that the smell seemed to have disappeared.
It was a good thing though since the smell is particularly nauseating and loathsome. The tall flower is light green in color and shaped like the male organ of reproduction. It has a crimson part at the bottom. The flower had been given the nickname of Alice by the Botanic Garden staff.
It was quite a surprise to see the flower start to blossom this week. It almost took the staff at the Botanic Garden by surprise. Another similar corpse flower named Spike had failed to bloom for the whole summer.
The staff had learned a lot from the disappointment that was Spike. So they were prepared for Alice. Over a dozen years of experience had prepared one botanist to bring the corpse flower to full bloom.
And it was a remarkable success story of sorts. Seven experts were available to brief the visitors to the plant sanctuary about the details regarding the corpse flower Alice.
Most corpse flowers are native to Indonesia and bloom in a decade’s time span. Then they die and make way for other species of their kind. Samples of Alice’s pollen will be frozen and sent off to other botanical gardens which have corpse flowers in them.
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Visitors can not only see but smell the corpse flower once they enter the Chicago Botanic Garden environment. As a kissing cousin of Spike, it proved to be a success while Spike failed to bloom. The Botanic Garden staff wanted to make sure Alice would bloom before they invited the public to view the corpse flower.