Meet Spike at the Chicago Botanic Garden


From the Chicago Botanic Garden Webpage:

August 28 update: Spike is 68″ tall. #CBGSpike update: The Garden will not be open late tonight. We are giving Spike another night off. Titan Tim & our scientists are carefully monitoring progress. Check back here in the morning for the latest information.

As of August 21, 2015 the predicted bloom date will be early next week (8/24). The garden has set up a webcam where you can watch it live.

Titun Arum blooming chicago
Photo Credit the Chicago Botanic Garden




These words are not ones usually used to describe a flower, but they are what best describes Spike, the Titan Arum flower that is gaining a lot of attention at the Chicago Botanic Garden. This rare bloom, also known as a corpse flower due to its foul smell, will bloom in Chicago for the first time, soon.

When–no one knows– but they have daily updates on the gardens Facebook page.  In the wild or in a garden, the Titan Arum blooms very rarely. It takes years to grow and prepare for it. Spike has been nurtured (along with eight others) at the garden since 2003 and now it appears ready to bloom!

titan arum blooming chicago
Titan Arum, “Spike,” on August 3. Photo by Robin Carlson

When one of these flowers is set to bloom it draws thousands of visitors. It’s truly a once in a lifetime experience, and it’s happening in our own backyard!

What you need to know:

  • The flower is native to the rainforests of western Sumatra, Indonesia.
  • The Titan Arum rarely blooms and it’s nearly impossible to predict the day it will be at its peak bloom.
  • Spike, the garden’s first flowering Titan Arum, is on display in the Semi-Tropical Greenhouse in the Regenstein Center
  • It’s speculated that Spike will reach it’s height between four and eight feet and bloom sometimes in the next two weeks
  • On the evening the Titan Arum reaches the peak of bloom, the garden will remain open to the public until 2:00 a.m.,  with the regular parking fee being waived after 9:00 p.m.
  • The plant itself smells super gross, that’s why it’s called the corpse flower. This may be a selling point with kids.

For more information on this amazing plant and a super cool time-lapse video visit the Titan Arum page.

Connect with the Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe |  847-835-5440
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The Chicago Botanic Gardens is open daily. Admission is free, but parking is $25 per vehicle. For easier entry, purchase your parking in advance. For discounts on parking, contact your library for a Museum Pass.



Disclosure: I am an ambassador for the garden and my family has received a membership in exchange for me sharing updates, events, and activities at the garden. All thoughts and opinions are my own

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About Melissa Haak 862 Articles
Melissa is mom to 4. She used to dream of traveling the world, now she dreams of a clean kitchen. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair because with this much hair and four kids, you're bound to find something in it.

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