Free Stapelia Variegata Plants

acalypha hispida plant
The Stapelia is an unusual plant with fleshy, angular stems that spread across the pot. The flowers, produced from summer to autumn, are also unusual, being quite fleshy, arranged in a star-like pattern, and borne at a strange angle at the side of the plant. In proportion to the plant they are also quite large. However, the most unusual characteristic of the plant is the smell of the flowers, which is quite revolting and resembles the smell of carrion, hence the common name of Carrion Flower. This smell has the purpose of attracting flies, which would normally feast on rotting meat, to pollinate the flowers. The odour can be so strong that it fills a room, in which case the flower is perhaps best removed.

Plant type : Flowering succulent with low-growing, erect, spreading habit
Season of interest : Summer, autumn
Size : 7.5-15cm (3—6in)
Flower : Star-like, five-lobed, 6.5cm (2jin), yellow with reddish brown flecks and lines, with revolting smell of carrion, produced summer/autumn
Leaf : Angular, branching stems, 7.5-15cm (3—6in), fleshy, grey-green
Temperature : 10-28°C (50 — 82°F)
Aspect/Light : Full sun
Humidity : Low
Watering : Barely moisten compost in spring and summer, allowing to almost dry out before re-watering; keep on the dry side in autumn and winter
Feeding : Once a month with half strength flowering plant fertilizer in spring and summer
Propagation : Sow seeds in cactus and succulent compost at 20-22°C (68-72°F) in mid spring; divide or cut 10cm (4in) stem and plant as above from late spring to mid summer
Potting : Cactus and succulent compost
Problems : Mealy bug, root mealy bug, root rot
Availability : Occasionally available spring and summer
Uses indoors : Windowsill or conservatory plant
Other varieties : S. hirsuta - purplish brown flower