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Posts Tagged ‘Stapelia gigantia’

Five or six months ago, I took multiple cuttings from my Stapelia gigantia and planted them in six planter boxes on top of my terrace wall.  I used them to fill in around agave that I’d planted in the middle of each box.

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Once the rains came, they began spreading their prehistoric-looking tentacles…

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And, the flowers have exploded in their carrion-smelling bloom, attracting green bottle flies, as designed.

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I think my stinky stapelia like their new homes!

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This has been a good year for my stinky Stapelia gigantea.

Stapelia gigantea unopened blossom

Feather-light blossoms open to reveal zebra-striped, hairy flowers.  Apparently, to carrion eating insects, these tiny soft white hairs resemble mold growing on rotting meat — a disgusting thought!

Part of Stapelia gigantea hairy petal

And, to complete the putrid package, the flowers smell like rotten meat.

Stapelia gigantea open flower with 7 green bottle flies

An odious odor only a green bottle fly could love.

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Twenty-four hours in the life of one of the more bizarre, and almost prehistoric-looking, residents of the terrace garden, a Stapelia gigantea

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Trying to identify this plant I did a Google search using the terms:  cactus, stinky, flies, star flower… because it definitely smells gross, has incredibly large zebra striped star-shaped flowers, and is a favorite of green bottle flies!

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