Stapelia flavopurpurea

Today’s entry was written by Alexis.

Scott Zona (aka scott.zona@Flickr) took this photograph at the Wertheim Conservatory & Greenhouse at Miami’s Florida International University. Thank you for sharing, Scott!

Stapelia flavopurpurea is a small succulent species native to South Africa and Namibia, usually found growing beneath bushes and in stony areas. It is associated with calcrete.

Stapeliads are also known as carrion flowers because they often give off unpleasant odours (often like rotting flesh) that attract flies, which act as pollinators. Stapelia flavopurpurea is one of the few Stapelia species that do not have a stinky smell. On the contrary, they may give off a pleasant scent; the scent of the lighter-coloured flowers has been compared to that of honey or marzipan. The flowers of this species are also highly variable in appearance and exhibit an array of colours. The flower lobes can vary from brown to red, green or yellow. The centre of the flower is typically white, but covered in hairs that may be white or purple. Lastly, the corona is white to red-purple with a yellow-tinged base (ref: Bruyns’ Stapeliads of Southern Africa and Madagascar (2005).

Stapelia flavopurpurea

10 responses to “Stapelia flavopurpurea”

  1. Andrea

    That. Is. Awesome! Looks like the underside of a starfish! Not like any of the dogbane we have around here…

  2. Alan

    I have two S. flavopurpurea that I grew from seed, one with yellow flowers, one with brown. Stapeliads have the most amazing flowers, this site has lots of photos:
    http://www.cactus-mall.com/stapeliad/index.html

  3. Lina Droz-Grey

    C’est magnifique !
    Merci pour ces photos de superbes fleurs et plantes.
    C’est toujours un plaisir d’ouvrir les liens et découvrir la beauté, la richesse de la nature !
    Cordiales salutations.
    Lina

  4. Carol Shelton

    Yes, it’s beautiful. Yes, it attracts pollinators. But NO! it does not smell “to attract flies for pollination.” That is a double anthropomorphism. Instead, “to attract” should be changed to “that attracts” and “for pollination” should be changed to “which pollinate.”

  5. Daniel Mosquin

    Thanks Carol — poor editing on my part. I’ve changed it back to Alexis’ original version.

  6. Larry Ayers

    Stapeliads are strange indeed! I’d forgotten that they are in the Dogbane Family. As Andrea said, nothing like our local members of that family.

  7. elizabeth a airhart

    on a google search it would seem this beauty is named
    for johannes von stapel who first drew and wrote about
    stapelia- nature is really something thank you daniel
    the catus and succulent mall is a fine web site bon jour

  8. phillip

    ..well la de la..”..a double anthropomorphism..”..?..it was understood with a single..

  9. Doug

    Yum. Purple is my favorite flavor…

  10. Deb Lievens

    Another wonderful post that demonstrates why I love the Apocynaceae. They continue to surprise.

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