CHICAGO (CBS) — While many people in Chicagoland will be watching Monday’s solar eclipse, others might be taking a whiff of a different kind of “Sunshine.”
The latest corpse flower to bloom at the Chicago Botanic Garden is fittingly named “Sunshine,” and started blooming on Sunday, which means that awful but strangely enticing smell is back. Sunshine is the sixth corpse flower to bloom at the garden, but the first the garden is housing outdoors.
The towering rare flowers also known as titan arum have become something of a pop sensation in the last few years. Known for their powerful stench, the odor is different for each corpse flower, but has been described as anything from a hog farm, to dirty socks to dead fish. The scent is meant to attract flesh-eating insects that help pollinate.
The corpse flower is native to Indonesia, where it grows in tropical rain forests. The plants can get up to 12 feet tall. Sunshine measures in at just over 5 feet, with a girth of nearly 39 inches.
Chicago Botanic Garden outdoor floriculturist Tim Pollak said Sunshine is similar to Spike, which had to be manually opened in 2015, when it did not bloom on its own as expected.
“Obviously, we turned Spike into something good, and it was a good time for the garden to really show the intersection of science and horticulture together; something that we really, really wanted to highlight,” he said.
The Chicago Botanic Gardens will be open until 9 p.m. Monday for visitors to get a peek and sniff of Sunshine.