A Flower Named Lois

For the past few days Houston has had a very special visitor named Lois. Placed in the wonderful Houston Museum of Natural Science is a large plant that is commonly referred to as the corpse flower. Its scientific name is the amorphophallus titanum. But what makes this specific flower so special? First of all, it is one of the rarest and largest flowers in the entire world. It is indigenous only to the rainforests of Sumatra, an island in western Indonesia. However, the reason why it has attracted over 33,000 visitors to the museum in the past 13 days is because of the smell the flower releases when it blooms. Horticulturists describe the smell as that of a rotting animal. The flower releases this smell to attract certain types of bugs in order for pollination to occur. Only 28 of these types of plants have ever bloomed in the United States and Lois will be the 29th. It was scheduled to bloom over a week ago but it is acting somewhat shy. The museum has placed a webcam that allows people to see the flower online. Click here to see Lois live!