What’s the Fascination with Rockford’s Awful-Smelling Corpse Flower?
The Savage Garden display this summer at Rockford's Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens is always worth a visit, but what's with this other stinky attraction.
I'm not here to judge whatsoever, I'm just seeking a better understanding of the corpse flower's draw. Very soon, a huge corpse flower will be putting on one of the smelliest shows in Rockford, at the Nicholas Conservatory. When this flower blooms it gives off a stench that resembles the smell of a dead and rotting human body. So, this is why I ask, what's the fascination with seeing the corpse up close?
Why Do You Stand in the Stench to Get a Close-up of the Corpse Flower?
There are some interesting facts about this flower that I enjoyed reading, I just don't see myself wanting to smell what this behemoth plant is putting out.
Corpse Flower Fun Facts
- It grows in the wild only in the equatorial rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia
- The flowering plant has the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world, reaching over 10 feet tall
- The underground stem is the largest known, weighing around 110 pounds
- From 1939-1999, it was the official flower of The Bronx
Let's talk about what brings the crowds back to the conservatory to bathe themselves in a stench that consists of:
Dimethyl trisulfide (like limburger cheese)
Dimethyl disulfide (garlic)
Trimethylamine (rotting fish)
Isovaleric acid (sweaty socks)
Benzyl alcohol (sweet floral scent)
Phenol (like Chloraseptic)
Indole (like feces)
We've all been around smells like this, but never all at the same time. Why?
This year's corpse flower at Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens even has a name.
“Grimace” the corpse flower is now on display at Nicholas Conservatory! We are measuring its growth every day and will keep you posted here with updates on estimated bloom date. This morning Grimace was measuring 55” tall and we’re estimating the bloom (complete with all it’s smelly glory) to be early next week. Once we have a better idea on the bloom date we will release timed tickets for pre-purchase online (or over the phone)."
Be sure to visit the conservatory's Facebook page to know exactly when to come get the 'best' whiff.