Red African Star Fish

Stapelia gigantea


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A low, perennial succulent with upright spineless stems of greenish red, with velvety, quadrangular, leaves, whose most distinctive features is its unusually large flowers, one of the largest in the plant world. The fleshy, leathery, star-shaped flowers are pale ochre-yellow with thin maroon lines and emit a foul scent of rotting meat which attracts pollinators, giving rise to the common name “Carrion Flower”. Other common names include: Red African Star Fish, Stapelia Nobilis, Starfish Cactus, Zulu Giant and Giant Toad Plant.

Likes a spot in full sun where it will provide winter interest. Moderate watering and a shallow rocky soil is ideal. Native south eastern Africa.