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This century plant, a species that blooms only once in its life before dying (it can live up to 100 years, although this one only made it to 15), sprouted through the roof of the Oak Park Conservatory in 1987. The first signs of a growth spurt appeared that March, when the plant grew at the rate of two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half inches per day, adding 18 feet in one month. A pane of glass was removed from the conservatory roof to make way for the flower.

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