A flower party
Finally! Corpse flower Lois lets her petals down for a full bloom
After weeks of waiting — and enough false alarms to make The Boy Who Cried Wolf blush — Houston's corpse flower has finally opened her petals to the world.
The full force of the rotting flesh stink is expected to last eight to 12 hours and within two days, the whole thing should be over with the corpse flower closing back up, not expected to bloom again for years and years — if ever. Lois is only the 29th corpse flower to ever bloom in the United States, the third ever in Texas.
HMNS plans to stay open around the clock until Lois is completely done doing her thing.
This corpse flower first started edging onto the public radar about three weeks ago. CultureMap was the first publication to report on the late nights at the museum on July 12. And for the last nine days and many of the nights, this rare flower basically held the fourth-largest city in the country at her unpredictable whim. HMNS opened up around the clock for many of the days, six different buttons and T-shirts were made, an anonymous Twitter star to rival BP Global PR was born and a record number of visitors poured into the museum from close and far.
On Tuesday night, HMNS abruptly changed its plans to close at midnight and went back to being open 24 hours because of the rare flower's progress. By Wednesday afternoon, HMNS horticulturist Zac Stayton declared that Lois would bloom within "24 hours." Face masks quickly became standard equipment for the most-prepared visitors.
Still, the corpse flower took its sweet time — and most people don't even know the half of it.
The HMNS has had this corpse flower — officially an Amorphophallus titanum fromI Indonesia — for six years after first acquiring the plant as a stem.
Crammed into a hallway with a skylight over head and little room for the paparazzi (both journalist professional and amateur iPhone toters) who wanted her/his picture, Lois started to make even the staunchest believer wonder if there would ever be a complete opening. Stayton admitted that there was a chance the fickle corpse flower could "abort."
No worries of that now. Just relief and plenty of stink.