Saturday, September 26, 2009

Stapelia gigantea in bloom...

Well, just to prove how distracted I've been lately, the first bloom on this plant, a couple of days ago, I didn't even notice until after it had faded... but I dutifully watched this bud and this morning it was obviously going to open today...

The blooms open in the afternoon, and stay pretty much until noon the next day... and yes they do smell like hamburger that's been left outside for some unknown reason, but the smell isn't unbearable as long as they're outside and you're more than 3 feet away. If you look closely, you will notice a carrion fly on the bloom... these are the plants pollinators.

Not that there's any pollination going on here... either they require a specific carrion fly polinator from their native land, or they require cross pollination and this is the only one within a mile, because for the last three years I've had plenty of blooms and not one ever even tried to produce a seed pod. I'm not that concerned... they're so easy from cuttings I can't imagine the neccesity of a seed.

As mentioned this is the second bloom this year. There are quite a few more buds beginning to pop out on the other side of the plant, but we're looking at a couple of weeks before they're likely to produce.

And now, I feel I should respond to the many people who expressed their condolences on my last post... Thank you all very much. I truly appreciate the kind thoughts and the concern expressed...


  1. Wow Claude- that is just amazing! A fellow Tucson gardener traded some plants with me and he gave me 3 or 4 (not sure if two are the same) types these plants. I had one small bloom- and can't wait for the others to bloom. Yours is wonderful- so very cool. Hope you are doing well!

  2. Now I ask myself: Do I really want a plant that smells like rotten hamburger? It's beautiful, though.

  3. You know...when I had one of my tires full of this stuff, I never noticed the smell. LOL...makes me wonder if something is wrong with my snoz! They were covered in flies must have had SOME kind of smell!!! Mine all died one week, and I threw them over next to the fence...I should go see if any of it survived.

    Good to see you blogging, and hope you are doing well, Claude! Sending all good wishes your way...

  4. That is amazing!!! Mine dropped dead a couple weeks ago along with a few others.

  5. this is the mysterious and odorifous flower Mr. Subj was talking about!
    Actually, Claude, this is the coolest bloom I've ever seen! Now I WOULD like to give it a sniff!

    Thanks for your visit! Yeah, Fall is so much more different in the NE..but I've been there with the dry, dusty, brown looking winters....having grown up in Calif.

  6. Wish I had the species that produces the large blooms like yours. The one I have has small flowers near the base and unless you're looking for them or are just lucky they are easy to miss. Although they stink, there's something fascinating about these things....

  7. Claude...keep your eyes open for a box in the mail...I am sending it out to you tomorrow morning!!!
    Open it carefully!!! OK?

  8. That's a huge plant. When I first saw it, it reminded me of a starfish because of its shape. If I ever see one, I'll try to find out if it really does smell like a hamburger.