Stapelia gigantea

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Stapelia gigantea
Aasblume Aug 2005.jpg
Carrion plant flower
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Tribe: Stapeliae
Genus: Stapelia
Species: S. gigantea
Binomial name
Stapelia gigantea

Stapelia gigantea is a species of flowering plant in the family Apocynaceae, native to south eastern Africa. Growing to 20 cm (8 in) tall, it is a clump-forming succulent with erect green stems 3 cm (1 in) thick. In summer, large star-shaped five-petalled flowers up to 35 cm (14 in) in diameter are borne. The flowers are red and yellow, wrinkled, with a silky texture and fringed with hairs. They have the smell of rotting flesh,[1] in order to attract the flies which pollinate them. The plant is commonly referred to as Zulu giant,[2] carrion plant or toad plant (although the name "carrion plant" can also refer to Stapelia grandiflora). Stapelia gigantea sometimes also goes by the name of Stapelia nobilis or Stapelia marlothii.

Due to its tender nature and intolerance of extended freezes, this plant is usually grown as a houseplant in temperate zones. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[3]

S. gigantea can become an invasive plant when introduced in arid and semi-arid environments, although it has been found to facilitate recruitment of nurse-dependent native taxa.[4]


  1. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  2. ^ "Stapelia gigantea". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 1 December 2015. 
  3. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Stapelia gigantea". Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Herrera, Ileana; Ferrer-Paris, José R.; Hernández-Rosas, José I.; Nassar, Jafet M. (2016). "Impact of two invasive succulents on native-seedling recruitment in Neotropical arid environments" (PDF). Journal of Arid Environments 132: 15–25. doi:10.1016/j.jaridenv.2016.04.007. Retrieved 6 May 2016. 

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