Step Right Up! Sniff The Flowering Plant That Smells Like Rotting Flesh

(CBS) — An amazing flower will soon bloom at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

As CBS 2’s Ed Curran reports, it’s the first time we’ve ever had this flower — and this smell — in the Chicago area.

Crowds have grown at the Chicago Botanic Garden since the first whiff that the plant nicknamed “Spike” was about to bloom.

Outdoor floriculturist Tim Pollak, says the beautiful plant, Titan Arum, has been growing like a weed this month.

Spike is 12 years old. This is the first time it’ll produce a flower unlike one you’ve ever seen before.

“The flower on Spike here is going to get about six to seven feet tall, we’re expecting, and the flower will open to about 48 inches in diameter,” Pollak says.

It’s actually a flower structure that contains perhaps hundreds of smaller flowers. Spike’s kind is known by another name – the “Corpse Flower.”

While many visitors at the Chicago Botanic Garden love to stop and smell the roses, the Corpse Flower – not so much. It’s scent has been described as that of a dead or rotting animal, even dirty socks.

That distinctive smell attracts pollinators like flies. The bloom will come at night and only last a day or two.

“It’ll actually fully open right around midnight, the night that it does flower. So, for the first time ever, this Chicago Botanic Garden will be open until 2 a.m.,” Pollak says.

That may happen late this week. Check the garden’s website for updates.

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