Smelly Flower Finally Stinks It Up

The corpse flower has finally bloomed, and the stink does not disappoint. The rare tropical plant opened early this morning at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, ending two weeks of botanical excitement across Houston. KUHF Health Science and Technology reporter Carrie Feibel went over for a sniff.

It took some coaxing. The flower, dubbed Lois, finally opened early Friday after staff members cranked up the temperature and humidity. Horticulturist Zac Stayton described the odor as half men’s locker room, half bait shop.

“Very shrimpy, rotten fish smell, with the undertones of that rotten laundry, that musty, moldy laundry.”

School kids from Kingwood Montessori brought purple clothespins to put on their noses. But they weren’t really needed. Here’s sixth grader Grahm Potter.

“To me it doesn’t smell that bad. It reminds me of a fish tank in my classroom. Just very stinky fish.”

Marie Smith drove in from Katy to catch a whiff.

“It’s not really like meat rotting to me, it’s more like a mildewy smell almost, you know, like going near a dumpster. It’s really like that. Or like, have you ever gone past a school cafeteria dumpster? It kinda smells like one of those. I work at a school so…”

Lois’ odor has probably peaked, but some smell may linger throughout the weekend.

Carrie Feibel, KUHF News.


Carrie Feibel

Carrie Feibel

Health and Science Reporter

Carrie Feibel is the health and science reporter. Her reporting frequently appears on national NPR shows like Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Before coming to Houston Public Media, Feibel spent ten years as an award-winning newspaper reporter. She has worked at the Houston Chronicle, the Associated Press, and two...

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