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Another Corpse Flower Is Poised To Bloom & Unleash Unholy Stink At The Botanic Garden

By Stephen Gossett in News on Aug 11, 2017 9:40PM

Sunshine / Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago's most gloriously revolting tradition is back. (No, not Malort; that never goes away.) We speak of the legendarily foul-smelling attraction known as the corpse flower (aka titan arums). A new one is on display now at Chicago Botanic Garden. It's the first one to be exhibited outside at the museum, and the countdown for its infamous stink-bloom is officially underway.

For the uninitiated, the corpse flower is pollinated in its native environment by beetles and flies that are attracted by the reek of rotten meat. So when it blooms, it must oblige the funk—and a serious funk it is. (The Huntington Botanical Gardens called it "a combination of Limburger cheese, garlic, rotting fish, and smelly feet.") Here in Chicago, its a legion of brave diehard fans, rather than those flesh flies, that heed its skunky call.

The Garden decided to place this corpse flower, dubbed Sunshine, outside in order to provide it a "more natural setting," rather than the usual greenhouse. It's on display at the (aptly named) Sensory Garden. Even in the open air, expect the rancid goods to be palpable once they arrive.

There's no guaranteed time when Sunshine will bloom, and the cycle is tricky to determine. So the best bet is to follow the Botanic Garden on Facebook and Twitter or sign up for the email alerts, and watch for updates. The flower is only in bloom for roughy 24 to 36 hours, so you don't want to miss it when it arrives.

In the meantime, you can pre-game with this time-lapse video of the Garden's most recent bloom, when a pair of titan twins opened on June 1 and unleashed twice the holy olfactory hell. No Smell-O-Vision, sadly.