Ding dong, the corpse flower is dead.
OK, Lois has just fallen over (her spadix, the long pointy center to be more precise). But like Humpty Dumpty, the flower that's gripped Houston for weeks cannot be put back together again.
Instead, Houston's corpse flower will get one more late night of showing in her now-collapsed form (the Houston Museum of Natural Science will be open till midnight tonight and return to regular 9-6 hours Monday for Lois' last days of display).
By Tuesday morning, the hallway/alcove between the bug exhibits room and the butterfly habitat could be clear of the corpse flower and life will presumably return to normal in the Bayou City.
Brad Levy — HMNS director of visitor services — told me on Saturday night that the museum plans to hold some type of RIP Lois procession march for the corpse flower's trip from her current spot back to the greenhouse where she'll spend much of the rest of her days until showing signs of blooming again (which may or may not ever happen and figures to take years and years, even if it does). Details on the procession aren't yet finalized though.
It was originally tentatively planned for sometime Monday, but it depends on how quickly the corpse flower (and does Lois do anything quickly?) shrivels back up into itself.
The corpse flower's spadix collapsed late Sunday afternoon as more visitors streamed through the museum. As with most things with Lois — the corpse flower that always took her own time — it wasn't overly dramatic.
But in many ways, it marks an official end point for one of the most unexpected phenomenons ever.
Update: Steady crowds on Sunday night — even after news of the corpse flower's collapse came out — have HMNS officials leaning toward keeping Lois on display longer (under normal rather than extended museum hours) and holding off the greenhouse procession that Levy revealed to CultureMap until there is really almost literally nothing to see.