Stinky ‘corpse flower’ expected to bloom Tuesday at Rockford conservatory

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A corpse flower named “Grimace” is expected to expel its smelly essence when it blooms Tuesday night, according to Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens.

The titan arum plant, 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.

“Typically, titan arum blooms again every 3 to 10 years so we are very fortunate that our community will get to experience this again so soon. Grimace is still growing taller, but the rapid growth of the inflorescence typically slows or stops before blooming. We are seeing more of a deep burgundy color starting to show, along with other signs that Grimace is getting closer to blooming for a second time,” said Dan Erwin, Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens Manager.

The 18-year-old plant was named “Grimace” following a naming contest in August 2018, when it last bloomed.

Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens, at 1354 N 2nd St, says it will be extending its hours until 10 p.m. tonight so visitors can have a chance to catch the dreadful aroma when it blooms.

The bloom only lasts 24-48 hours, according to Park District officials.

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