Tag Archives: Stapelia gigantea

“Stapelia gigantea, its smell is terrible”

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And it is.

My carrion flower has bloomed again, this time with some hilarious results.


Monday. About to pop open, but no seams visible. I did warn Himself…


But as usual, he didn’t hear me, somehow. Can’t imagine why not, we’ve only been married 12 years… 

This is his version of the same bloom, with quote: “Went to shut the blinds & was greeted by this! Yes, I shrieked, it wasn’t open this morning! It’s our carrion plant. Smells like death! Yes, really! (You have to put your nose into it, else there’s no scent at all thankfully) HDR photo for scariness ;)”

I don’t really see the ‘scary’ difference, except he turned our white windowsill purple! But I do find it hilarious that it might have something to do with the fact that I’ve been feeding him Stephen King and he actually did make an unmanly sound when he saw it last night. 

For size comparison, the plate that the plant sits on is a side plate; it is not a dinner plate. Maybe what, about 8-10 inches across? I’m not getting close enough to measure the bloom! I’m a super-smeller and to me it smells like bad meaty cat breath. Urgh. Pretty, and pretty strange, however! 

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Stapelia gigantea, or Carrion Flower

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I’ve had this plant a long time. I first got it in 1998 or so. I couldn’t bring it with me to Ireland, but I did take a cutting and brought it in sans soil. Lucky for me, it survived a month in the container in a jar of water and damp paper towel. Probably still illegal, but at least I didn’t bring any bugs or weird microbes in to the country. It’s a house plant, here, but is native to South Africa – as it seems a lot of my favourite plants are!

Oddly enough, after 11 years, this thing finally decided to bloom. Not that long ago, I gave it a good soaking, and a wash (the leaves are furry and collect a lot of cat hair), and I guess that finally sparked it into flowering. I won’t read anything into a corpse flower blooming the week my Spotty cat died.

First I noticed was that there was a huge balloon sticking out the side.


Stormtrooper mini-fig for size. We all know how big they are, right?

Then it opened.


Weird as hell, right? And it does, indeed, stink of death. Not that bad, really, unless you stick your face right in it. The scent and hairs are to mimic a dead animal, as this is a fly-pollinated plant. The texture of the bloom is very much like leather, too. This one started to shrivel today, so I cut it off. But there are several more coming, so I am taking better care of it than I usually do. It got another good soaking today.

If you want to learn more about this unique plant.