Rare corpse flower is blooming at Houston museum

Fewer than 1,000 corpse flowers are estimated to remain in the wild

HOUSTON – Something stinks at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, but the stench is actually attracting visitors instead of keeping them at bay.

A corpse flower, dubbed “Meg,” bloomed inside the Cockrell Butterfly Center at the museum, which is located at 555 Hermann Park Drive.

Blooms only last for a couple of days so if you want to go see Meg and smell her not-so-sweet stench, you’ll have to make the trip soon. You can also see a video of the flower in the media player at the top of this article.

The flower is still open and in bloom, but the smell has mostly dissipated since yesterday, museum officials said in a statement to KSAT on Thursday.

Fewer than 1,000 corpse flowers are estimated to remain in the wild, with a sharp decline in the last century, according to the U.S. Botanic Garden.

The plants are native to the rainforests of Sumatra in Indonesia and can take more than 10 years to bloom for the first time.

“The plants frequently grow up to 8 feet tall in cultivation. Its putrid smell is most potent during peak bloom at night into the early morning. The odor is often compared to the stench of rotting flesh,” the U.S. Botanic Garden website states.

Chemistry behind the corpse flower (San Antonio Zoo)

You might remember the San Antonio Zoo had a corpse flower that looked like it was ready to bloom last July. However, the bloom turned out to be unsuccessful.

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.