CHICAGO — Two corpse flowers at the Chicago Botanic Garden could soon bloom — and emit such a stench that no one will remember that a similar flower failed to bloom even after attracting thousands of visitors to the same locale two years ago.
The Botanic Garden's "Titan Twins," named Java and Sumatra appear to be getting ready to bloom, officials said. When (or if) they do, the flowers will emit a smell that's described as a combination of "limburger cheese, garlic, rotting fish and smelly feet."
But this might be a big stink about nothing. In 2015, a corpse flower at the Botanic Garden, Spike, had an epic fail, after thousands visited the Botanic Garden late into the night only to never see the flower. Later that year, however, another corpse flower at the garden, Alice, did bloom.
The blooming of corpse flowers is rare, only happening every seven to 10 years.
Java is nearly 52 inches tall and 34 inches wide, while Sumatra is 45 inches tall and 40 inches wide. The Titan Twins are the fourth and fifth corpse flowers to begin their bloom cycles at the Botanic Garden out of a collection of 17 such plants. Both plants have been at the Botanic Garden since 2008.
The bulbs of the Titan Twins are more than 110 pounds each, double the size of the bulbs of previous titan arums on display, and may end up being either taller or wider than previous titan arums, according to the Botanic Garden.
The Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road in suburban Glencoe, is open every day from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. If the bloom occurs after 9 p.m., the Botanic Garden will open early at 7 a.m. and close that day at 11 p.m. Anyone who is in the Botanic Garden by 11 p.m. will be able to see the titan twins.
If a bloom occurs before 9 p.m. the Garden will close the entrance gates at 11 p.m. and will reopen at 7 a.m. Parking rate for nonmembers is reduced to $10 after 9 p.m.