Stapelia gigantea is an interesting plant that resembles cactus, with clumps of 4-sided spineless stems. Carrion flowers are native to S. Africa.
Blooming Time: September. Flowers are large, fleshy, shaped as 5-pointed stars; they have an elaborate circular fleshy disk in the center. The flowers smell like carrion and are not offensive if blooming outside. Flowers are 10-16 inches across.
Culture: Stapelia gigantea need full sun and moderate water in the growing season. They need a well-drained soil (2 parts loam to 1 part sharp sand) with small pebbles mixed in for drainage. They need a cool, dry rest period in winter. Fertilize once during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. They are best managed in pots and can withstand extreme heat.
Propagation: Stapelia gigantea are propagated by stem cuttings. Take cutting in spring when new growth begins. Let cuttings callus up for 2-3 weeks before planting.
Stapelia gigantea was featured as Plant of the Week September 24-30, 1999.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.