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  Stapelia gigantea
(Syn: Stapelia nobilis)
CACTUS ART
NURSERY

Cultivation and Mail Sale
of Cacti and Succulents.

 


The flowers are among the largest of the genus and can reach a diameter up to 30 cm (or more)
 

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(Photo by: Victoria Huffman - Texas)

The large leathery flowers give off a pestilent disgusting smell that attracts pollinating flies.


Culture: Fertilize once during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer diluted to the strength recommended on the label. They need a well-drained potting-mix and can withstand extreme heat but avoid direct sun in summer. Best in partial sun or light shade.
Frost Tolerance: They need a cool, dry rest period in winter but keep above 10C and avoid any frost.
Propagation: are propagated by stem cuttings. Take cutting in spring when new growth begins. Let cuttings callus up for 2-3 weeks before planting.

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Family: Asclepiadaceae (Apocynaceae)  (Milkweeds family)

Scientific name: Stapelia gigantea N.E. Br.

Origin: Southern Africa, Zambia

Synonym: Stapelia nobilis

Common names: Carrion Flower, Star Fish Flower, Giant Zulu, Giant toad plant.

Description: S. gigantea is a stem succulent that resembles a cactus; the branches are velvety, spineless, quadrangular in cross-section and determinate, ceasing growth when about 10 to 30 cm tall, may form big clumps up to1 m in spread.
Blooming Time: October. The inflorescence arises near the base of a branch; on this plant the inflorescence had two buds with scale-like leaves at the base of the petioles. When this flower opened., the second bud was aborted. Flowers are extremely large, soft and pulpy to the touch, star-shaped and give off a pestilent smell that attracts flies that ensure the successful pollination of this species.
The flowers have a leathery texture mimic the rotting flesh of a dead animal (like meat and fat rotting in the hot sun) and vary from pale yellow to reddish brown with an elaborate pattern of dark reddish stripes. They remember drying flesh peeling back from the bone and also fringes of soft white hairs on the corolla segments superficially resemble a layer of mold growing on rotting matter.
 

 




The flower mimic the rotting flesh and putrid smell of a dead animal.



(Photo by: Victoria Huffman - Texas)

Home | E-mail | Plant files | Mail Sale Catalogue | Links | Information | Search

All the information and photos in cactus art files are now available also in the new the Encyclopaedia of Succulents. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.