Saturday, October 08, 2011

and it blooms again...

This is the second bloom from my Stapelia gigantea... tomorrow might actually be more impressive, as I think the other four buds on the plant will all open at once then.. 

It's one of my favorite plants, not only for the impressive flowers, but for the sheer ease of growing the thing.  I yank it inside in the winter and ignore it.  Then I put it outside in the summer... and ignore it, apart from it getting some water occasionally.

And, every fall, it pretty consistently puts these flowers out.  Not bad, huh?  Now, I'm not getting as many blooms as normal, we had a killer summer.  But I didn't fare as well as normal this summer either... so what more can I ask, right? 

The plant carries the common name of Carrion flower.  This is due to the fact that it does smell like rotting meat.  There are some people who prefer the name of Starfish flower.  These are the kind of people who try to change the name of Datura Inoxia from Devil Apple to Angel Trumpet.  I find these renamings silly.  Listen... you can call this plant "sweetheart with a bow on top" but it doesn't change the fact that it looks unearthly, and it smells like something dead.  Carrion flower is what I've always called it and always will. 


  1. I was just talking about these this morning! My friend sells them at the farmers' market. She said the smell doesn't deter many people from buying them. But it deterred me. Does it stink up the whole house? Or is it still outside so you don't notice the stink? I'm not sure I can handle that smell indoors!

  2. These flowers are just amazing!!! How fun to have your blooming!!!!!

  3. claude9:13 PM

    Liza - Outside, you hardly notice the smell unless you shove your face right up in it, and quite frankly the flowers appearance is such, that most aren't tempted to do it. They do draw a few flies, and those are the plants pollinators and why they smell like they do. Inside - well I wouldn't advise it... Out side theres wind and breeze, but inside the smell would just kind of collect and condense. These are outside, and if they're inside, I'd either put it outside or cut the buds off.

    hey Julie! They're amazing looking things, aren't they?

  4. Does your plant ever develop seed pods?

  5. Claude,

    Hmm, My question is do such plants that have a pungent fragrance of decomposing meat attract other carrion eaters? Possums and the like? Still it’s quite a unique plant and would be a great conversation piece. – gary

  6. Thomas - Nope. Never even tried to produce a seed pod... I think it needs cross-pollination with another S. gigantea. Not sure why... they're so easy from cuttings though that propogation is not a problem.

    Gary - not that I've noticed. There's certainly no buzzards circling. And there's plenty of possums in the neighborhood, and they don't seem to bother with it.