Scientists help Chicago's stinky 'corpse flower' blossom (+video)

Spike, a nearly 6-foot-tall titan arum plant at the Chicago Botanic Garden, needed help from scientists to release its foul odor.

  • close
    We've been waiting for weeks, but the bad-smelling corpse flower at the Chicago Botanic Garden just wouldn't bloom.
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption

A rare foul-smelling flower expected to bloom this week had to get an assist from scientists when it didn't open at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

More than 50,000 people visited the corpse flower in suburban Glencoe this month. The garden also live-streamed the nearly 6-foot-tall titan arum plant, nicknamed "Spike." When corpse flowers bloom, they release a stinky odor which attracts pollinating beetles and flies.

The plant showed signs of opening but didn't.

The Chicago Tribune reports scientists cut around the base of the plant on Sunday to determine why. Scientists believe Spike didn't have enough energy to force itself opening, however they say it could open again in the future.

Conservation scientist Patrick Herendeen says the plant didn't perform as expected, just like some garden plants at home.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.