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Another Corpse Flower To Bloom Soon In All Its Stinky Glory

By Stephen Gossett in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 14, 2016 6:42PM

Facebook / Garfield Park Conservatory

Like gourmands to Limburger cheese or a durian dish, local flora enthusiasts will not be able to resist the lure of a truly repellant smell. That's right: the infamous Corpse Flower will likely soon bloom in Chicago, this time at Garfield Park Conservatory. And when it does visitors can expect that notorious burst of rank pungency, once described as "a combination of spoiled eggs, dirty laundry and day-old roadkill."

Park workers expect the lady known as Persephone to bloom possibly Wednesday or Thursday afternoon. "She is the same height as yesterday-67 inches. That's exciting because the titan arum typically slows its growth before opening," the conservatory said on Facebook. "Her bracts, especially the smaller one, are a bit looser. If you look closely at the photo, you can see the spathe is open a bit more and starting to color reddish at the tips."

The stinky bloom has become something of a local crowd-"pleasing" tradition. The Chicago Botanic Garden extended hours to accommodate the many spectators who wanted to see and smell “Sprout” last April. Sure enough, Garfield Park Conservatory announced Monday they will follow suit, staying open until midnight the day it blooms and opening early, at 6 a.m, the following morning. (The plant typically stays in bloom between 24-36 hours, according to the conservatory. "They do their own thing, though.")

Beyond its odor, the Corpse Flower (or Amorphophallus titanum if you're nasty) also grows remarkably tall, with its inflorescence sometimes reaching over 10 ft. Needless to say, it's all something to behold. Follow Garfield Park Conservatory's Facebook for regular updates.