Rockford’s corpse flower blooms at Nicholas Conservatory

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Visitors lined up at Rockford’s Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens on Thursday to get a whiff of a foul smelling plant.

“Grimace” the corpse flower is now in full bloom.

The titan arum plant is known as the corpse flower because, when it blooms, it releases a smell like rotted meat or burnt sugar. The smell helps attract flesh flies and carrion beetles, which pollinated the flower while they look for rotting meat.

Titan arum plants bloom every 3 to 10 years

Rockford Park District authorities say the exotic plant began to bloom late Wednesday afternoon.

Staff pollinated the flower around midnight with pollen from a corpse flower named “Hope,” who resides at Chicago’s Botanic Gardens.

Tonight, pollen will be collected from “Grimace” and returned to Chicago, so “Hope” can be pollinated when it blooms.

Visitors said the stinky flower lives up to its name.

The bloom only lasts 24-48 hours, according to Park District officials. The flower is expected to bloom until Friday or Saturday, then collapse.

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