Moody Gardens is getting ready for the crowds.
Botanist Donita Brannon has moved the corpse flower to a platform in the middle of a pond in the rain forest exhibit.
Visitors will be able to see it from all sides but not touch it.
The central spike has already reached a height of 55 inches.
“She’s been growing at about four inches a day. And she’s beginning to slow down a little bit which means that she’s getting very, very close to opening up the flower part. And I’ve been saying all along she’s going to bloom around Father’s Day.”
Moody Gardens actually owns eight of these plants, which come from Sumatra.
But they sometimes take years to bloom, and there’s really no predicting when that will happen.
When a corpse flower blooms, it gives off a rotting-flesh smell that attracts carrion beetles, who then help pollinate it.
Brannon says Moody Gardens may extend visiting hours when the flower actually starts stinking it up.
But the Rainforest Pyramid won’t stay open all night like the museum in Houston did.
“We have the free-roaming saki monkeys, and the free-roaming sloths and the tamarinds. We have 25 species of free-flight birds. Having the lights on all night, and having those crowds in there all night would just really, really disrupt the animals. So I don’t think we’re going to be open 24 hours.”
This corpse flower has been named Morticia. And yes, she already has her own web cam.
From the KUHF Health and Science Desk, I’m Carrie Feibel.