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Orbea ciliata (Starfish Stapelia)
Orbea ciliata (Starfish Stapelia)is a much-branched succulent with decumbent or ascending stems and attractive star-shaped flowers. It…
Starfish Flower Cactus
These plants aren’t exactly cactus, but are members of the succulent group of plants. They are soft stemmed plants without spines spreading out from a central point. They are thickly skinned and resemble carrion flesh.
Starfish flower cactus may produce amazing five-petaled flowers that exude a rather unpleasant odor. The scent attracts flies and other insects, which pollinate the blooms. Flowers are red to brown and may be mottled with a couple of colors.
Stapelia is the family name of the starfish flower cactus. The “gigantea” is the most commonly collected, as a showy specimen with foot wide flowers.
Why Choose The Starfish Flower?
If you like unusual, interesting plants that are long-lived, easy to care for and intensely beautiful, the Stapelia is the plant group for you!
The popular varieties are easy to come by at standard nurseries, at specialty succulent shops, online and from gardening friends.
Even if you have not had a lot of luck with plants in the past, collecting Stapelia can provide you an easy, exciting, exotic and successful horticultural adventure. [source]
With dozens of varieties available, if you enjoy collecting you will be able to amass an impressive collection of very unusual and deceptively hardy plants.
Stapelia Flower – What’s That Smell?
Even with all these good looks, the most unusual feature of this plant is its peculiar scent.
Starfish cactus are sometimes referred to as Carrion Flowers because they exude the odor of rotting meat. [source]
Strange as this may seem, as with all things in nature, there is a good reason for this feature.
The smell of rotting meat attracts flies, which lay their eggs on the flower and incidentally spread pollen from one flower to another.
Another ‘smelly” plant is the corpse flower and Huernias.
How Strong Do These Stapelia Flowers Smell?
Perception of this strange smell varies from person-to-person. Some people say the smell is overwhelming like rotting flesh.
Others say you can barely smell it unless you put your nose very close to a flower. Naturally, the setting makes a big difference.
If you are keeping your Carrion plant in a small, warm sun porch or greenhouse, you will smell them more strongly than in a large, open room or outdoors.
The Starfish Flower Cactus Looks Make Up For The Smell!
Regardless of their odd odor, Stapeliads are good-looking plants. The plants only bloom from mid-summer until early autumn.
When they are not in bloom, the knobby, furrowed, succulent stems make an attractive and interesting addition to your plant collection.
When they do bloom, these flowering “cactus” are always showy and are impressively large in comparison to the size of the plant.
The blossoms appear low on the plant, leaving the interesting, fleshy stems towering above the blooms.
Carrion Stapelia Flower: Tips on Growing & Caring for the Cactus Starfish Plant
Looking to grow a spineless succulent? You might want to try the Stapelia Flower out. Even though it’s fabled to produce a foul smell, the flowers on this houseplant are charming and make this plant own a strikingly noticeable stature that overlaps other flowering houseplants.
Succulents are known to kick through tough times mostly when growing under arid climates. But the truth of the matter is your Stapelia flower will hardly pretend to keep its cool if you deprive it of the essential nurturing requirements. Keep reading to learn the basic caring tips and map out the grey areas you want to avoid when keeping up with the normal maintenance routine.