Can Spike’s “Perfume” Be Captured in a Jar?

A Student Asks, Our Scientist Answers

Karen Z. —  August 28, 2015 — 3 Comments

Of the many Spike-related questions asked by visitors this week, our favorite came from 8-year-old Prairie! In the video below, Prairie wants to know, in essence, if she can transport Spike’s malodorous odor from the Chicago Botanic Garden to her classroom.

Good question, Prairie!

Conservation scientist Dr. Shannon Still has a fascinating response. Dr. Still will attempt to pollinate Spike’s flowers during bloom with pollen shared by our friends from The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, and Denver Botanic Gardens.

Prairie, your experiment with scent would make a great science project! If you come to the Garden on the night Spike blooms, perhaps you’ll get to see Shannon Still working on “Operation Pollination.” Introduce yourself if you’re there!

©2015 Chicago Botanic Garden and

Karen Z.


Karen Zaworski is a writer who likes to use as few words as possible, a photographer who still works with black-and-white film and a darkroom, and a gardener who actually likes to weed.

3 responses to Can Spike’s “Perfume” Be Captured in a Jar?

  1. precious question, brilliant answer . . .
    Bring the class!!!

  2. I hope Prairie will try this and let us all know if it works.

  3. D PlaneforkandKnife August 28, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    I think she should try and sell it to Chanel to fund to her college.

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