It is the largest flower in the world. Standing seven feet or more when it blooms, the morphafalus titanium, or, as it’s known at the Chicago Botanic Garden,“Spike,” is getting ready to show off.
Spike arrived at the Chicago Botanic Garden 12 years ago.
While his size certainly is impressive, today he is already over five feet, it’s his nickname and scent which intrigues most. Spike is known as a “corpse flower.”
The flower itself is a gorgeous deep red, but about 12 hours before his beauty is unveiled, Spike will began releasing his stink which will last for another 16 hours or so after it opens.
Then the smell and the flower are history.
He is native to the island of Sumatra in Indonesia and was first discovered in the 1870’s.
In his home country Spike could bloom every 7 to 10 years or so. In the U.S. it can be closer to 12. There have been less than 100 recorded blooming in the U.S.
Spike is one of nine corpse flowers at the botanic garden. The rest have thus far only produced these gigantic leaves.
Spike is on display in a very humid, climate-controlled green house. He attracts thousands of visitors. Once he blooms the Chicago Botanic Garden will stay open until 2 a.m. to share his beauty - ad his scent - with anyone who’s interested.