Stapelia


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Stapelia

 

(carrion flower), a genus of succulent plants of the family Asclepiadaceae. The fleshy stems, which measure 2.5 to 30 cm in height, are erect or prostrate. The small, scaly leaves do not remain on the plant very long. The pentamerous flowers are solitary or in groups and measure 5 to 30 cm across. The corolla, which has a crown and is usually pubescent, is yellow, dark red, or spotted. Many species smell like carrion; this odor attracts flies needed for pollination. The fruit is a double follicle, which matures in the second year. There are about 100 species of carrion flowers, distributed mainly in the semiarid regions of southern and southwestern Africa. The plants are often cultivated indoors as ornamentals, especially the species S. variegata and 5. grandiflora.

REFERENCE

White, A., and B. Sloane. The Stapelieae, vols. 1–3. Pasadena (Calif.), 1937.
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