Saturday, 24 October 2009

I Never Promised You A Rose Garden

Stapelia grandiflora originates from the Transvaal in South Africa and is a very common succulent. It is easy to grow and quite interesting, with a big variety of colour in its flowers. However, the flowers are not grown for their beauty, nor for their perfume, which is quite evil smelling and gives rise to the popular name for Stapelia, namely "carrion plant." The idea, of course, is to attract insects and flies that otherwise go to rotting meat, in order for them to pollinate the plant.
I've had a Stapelia for just over three years and it has produced many other plants from cuttings. The "mother plant" is still thriving, though, and has just produced its second flower this year (with several others to come by the look of things). It takes a while for a flower bud to reach its mature size, but then things go quite quickly, especially on a warm day like today. In the course of just a few hours, the flower developed fully, as can be seen in this series of photos.

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