Chicago Botanic Garden's Surprise: Corpse Flower Blooms

Chicago Botanic Garden's Surprise: Corpse Flower Blooms
Alice, the corpse flower blooms.

You may remember the hoopla a couple of months ago around the Chicago Botanic Garden's Corpse Flower, named Spike. The long lines, the media circus--all waiting for the foul smell that was promised to be the world’s largest and smelliest flowering plant.

And then, pretty much nothing. A forced opening with just a slight odor was what visitors were greeted with after waiting hours to see the corpse flower.

Surprise, surprise just when we were told we'd have to wait at least three or four more years for Spike or one of his siblings to bloom, along came Alice. “Alice the Amorphophallus," a sibling of Spike, caught even the staff and scientists at the garden by surprise when she burst into full bloom last night.

Hurry, if you want to see her and smell her as Alice is estimated to only bloom for about 24 to 48 hours and the foul odor  is expected to be at its strongest right after she blooms.

The garden opens at 8 a.m. this morning (September 30) and will remain open until 7 p.m. this evening for continuous viewing (and smelling). The Chicago Botanic Garden is located at 1000 Lake Cook Rd, in Glencoe, 1/2 mile east of the Edens Expressway.

Admission to the garden is free but parking for non-members is $25. Or you can take the Metra North line to the Braeside station and head (by foot or bike) a little over a mile west on a path through the surrounding woods to the garden.

Be forewarned, even with this short notice, the garden is anticipating large crowds.

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