“Little Shop of Horrors”

Over the last couple of weeks, the biggest celebrity in Houston has been Lois, a Amorphophallus titanum, more commonly known as a Corpse Flower. Corpse Flowers are known its smell, which is similar to pheromones that attract carrion beetles. Lois bloomed in the early morning hours last Friday (2010.07.23), about a week later than she was originally estimated to, but thanks to the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences‘ 24-hour Lois cam and keeping their doors open 24-7 until she wilted helped give everyone the chance to smell Lois.

My friend Lisa, from Peace Corps, is definitely my friend, who knows exactly how nerdy I am, she wrote me an e-mail when she returned from her vacation, asking if I had “seen” Lois yet, since she knew that this would be on my to-do list. On Sunday morning, we went to HMNS to see Lois, there was a bit of a line for 8:15, but the line moved pretty fast, so we didn’t have to wait too long to smell her. She wasn’t disappointing, but compared to the photos of other Corpse Flowers that I had seen on-line, she was a bit small (I say this even though she was taller than me at 5 ft. and some inches), not as open as up either. Her color was a deep eggplant color, really gorgeous. The smell that I was a mix of anticipating and intimidated by, was not as strong or as pungent as I had expected. Sadly, Lois collapsed later Sunday afternoon. Overall, it was fun and apparently there’s another Corpse Flower in HMNS’s greenhouse and Lois will bloom again.

Lois on Sunday morning


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