Chicagoans are collectively gagging as the pungent odor of a decomposing animal begins to emanate through the city. But enough about the Bears — there’s a really unusual plant that is gaining major buzz around town.
According to Fox News, the Chicago Botanic Garden is home to the rare phenomenon of a corpse flower, a unique plant that is causing a major stink in the Windy City.
Alice, the first of eight corpse flowers to bloom, is 55 inches in height and can be seen in the semitropical greenhouse at the Botanic Garden.
“Head to the Garden now to see (and smell!) the extremely rare phenomenon of a corpse flower in full bloom,” declared the Chicago Botanic Garden on its website.
“Given that titan arums are notably unpredictable flowering plants (and we should know!), we wanted to be sure that she would bloom before we announced her debut. We appreciate your patience!”
As you might have guessed, the plant gets its unique name from the rotten smell that it emits. According to CNN, Alice will probably take about 10 years to reach the size needed to support a bloom.
Oddly enough, its Latin name, Amorphophallus titanum, translates to “huge deformed penis.”
In Russia, red tulips are used to declare romantic love. The corpse plant carries an entirely different meaning if you’re planning on buying one for a gift.
The success of Alice comes on the heels of another corpse plant in the Botanic Garden, Spike, which failed to bloom amid much publicity last month.
The plant’s smell does serve a functional purpose. It lures carrion beetles and flesh flies that are attracted to the smell of decomposition. The insects bring pollen from other plants they’ve visited, which then helps to pollinate the corpse flower plant.
Its odor is more distinct during the nighttime, so the Chicago Botanic Garden says that they will stay open until 2 a.m. for “peak bloom viewing” — and sniffing.
No word yet on if Derrick Rose suffered any further injuries while leaning down to smell the plant.