Synopsis of the play.
Jon Wedderburn lives on the beach in northern
California. His cousin, Clara, is his housekeeper. Jon laments the fact that his
life has been devoid of excitement. His only interest is his hobby of growing
orchids. One day Jon travels to San Francisco to attend a flower auction. At
this auction, he buys some orchid bulbs that have been collected from the dense
jungles of the East Indies. The man who collected these bulbs died while
collecting them, apparently as a result of leeches draining his blood.
Jon plants the bulbs, but they all die except
for the one found under the collector's body. This surviving bulb grows and
becomes strong. It soon becomes obvious that this plant is unusual. Jon believes
that he has found a new type of orchid. The plant puts out strange tentacles
with suction-cup like ends. At last, Jon finds that the blooms have opened.
While he is recording his observations into his notes, the flowers spew forth a
gas that puts Jon to sleep. The tentacles attach themselves to his skin and
begin to drain him of his blood.
Clara discovers Jon and calls the gardener to
help her. Together they break the hot-house windows to let the gas escape, and
drag Jon to safety. The gardener calls the doctor. The next day Jon is very
happy because finally something extraordinary has happened to him.