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A New Corpse Flower Could Bloom Any Day At The Chicago Botanic Garden

By Sarah Gouda in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 20, 2016 7:47PM

"Alice," the corpse flower that bloomed at the Chicago Botanic Garden in 2015 (Marielle Shaw/Chicagoist)

A new corpse flower has arrived at Chicago Botanic Garden. The latest addition to the establishment's corpse flower collection has been affectionately named Sprout, and she's on the brink of blooming. When she does, she'll emit a blast of horrible, rotting-flesh scent into the air, just as Alice did back in 2015.

We're pumped, and though it's hard to persuasively explain why, we'll try: the corpse flower grows to great heights and possesses one of the largest flowering structures in the world; it's extremely rare to witness one in bloom; and just like the name suggests, it smells like death. Releasing such a horrifying smell is the sort of "IDGAF" evolutionary adaptation that we can respect. The aroma both repels the flower's natural predators (humans, who could crush it), and attracts pollinators (carrion beetles and flesh flies that go nuts for the stench of decaying, rotten meat, as it's their preferred place to lay eggs).

The flower's not open yet—so if you want to stop by before it unleashes its scent, you can go now without needing to pack a face mask. Or, if you prefer to see Sprout in pungent bloom, you can keep tabs on her via the Chicago Botanic Garden's live stream:

Because the Chicago Botanic Garden is currently home to three corpse flowers, visitors can see three different stages of corpse flower development in one visit right now, too. To learn more about the plant, read the Chicago Botanic Garden FAQ.