/ The Houston Guide
Houston — By Christina Uticone on July 24, 2010 at 12:11 am
Filed under: featuredarticle, museum, special exhibit

FUNKWATCH: The Stink Is On!

The resident corpse flower at the Houston Museum of Natural Science is finally blooming, and attendance at the museum is soaring.  Without my museum membership I would easily have waited over an hour to get into the exhibit today (museum members are fast-tracked to the front of the line, and I hear membership sales are soaring).  Tickets are currently being sold in batches and attendance is regulated in 15-minute increments to accommodate the crowds that are flocking day and night to see and smell the Amorphophallus titanum, affectionately known as “Lois”.

So, what does she smell like?  Definitely funky!  It’s hard to explain – the smell is strong but I got used to it pretty quickly.  At first it smelled like something dying, although it was not as bad as I thought it was going to be.  Some spectators were horrified, but I thought it could have been worse.  A common concern of those waiting in line was whether the funk would stick to our clothes (it didn’t!).  This is a truly a unique opportunity for Houstonians and visitors, and the clock is ticking because Lois will only be stinking and blooming for another 24-36 hours.  The museum is open around the clock, but at this point you have to plan ahead and purchase tickets online; if you go and buy directly at the museum you may have to wait for hours – that’s right, hours - before you can head in for The Big Sniff.

Here is a photo progression of my time with Lois since my first visit with her on July 12.  My last visit was this afternoon, July 23.  She was expected to bloom within days of my first report on July 9th (and my second on July 11th!), so some have taken to calling her “Slois”.  I say she was worth the wait.

Lois on July 12

Lois on July 13

Lois on July 15

Lois on July 23

Lois, waiting for her closeup, July 23

You were everything I hoped for, Lo. More.

The HMNS is located at 5555 Hermann Park Dr. (map); call 713.639.4629 for inquiries.  The Butterfly Center is open Monday-Sunday 9 AM – 5 PM, with  last entry at 4 PM.  Ticket prices for the Butterfly Center are: $4 Members, $8 Adults, $7 Children 3-11 & Seniors (+62) & College Students (with valid ID).  Please note extended hours for the Butterfly Center during Lois’ blooming/stinking period.  Check the HMNS Cockrell Center blog for up-to-the-minute information.

Photos from the personal collection of Christina Uticone and Joshua Payne.  Please do not judge us for the ridiculous number of times we have visited this corpse flower exhibit.

Related places:
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    Houston Museum-Natural Science
    Hermann Cir Dr, Houston, Texas
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Tags: featuredarticle, museum, special exhibit


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