Floral Friday : Stapelia Leendertziae

(South African Stapeliad Desert flower) 

AasblomIMG_6896Known globally as African starfish flowers or locally as carrion flowers, members of the genus Stapelia are usually characterized by their foul-smelling flowers reminiscent of the odour of rotting meat. The hairs, coloration and surface mimic decaying animal matter and attract mostly flies, which act as pollinators. The strong carrion scent is sometimes recognizable at a great distance, especially on hot afternoons. Surprisingly, species such as S. erectiflora and S. flavopurpurea have sweetly scented flowers, but they are rare.IMG_6894

Stapelia leendertziae is most conspicuous when in flower owing to the unique large, bell-shaped, deep reddish to dark purple flowers that are up to 120 mm long. It is widely grown in gardens but distinctly uncommon in the wild. It occurs on the mountains of the northeastern escarpment and Swaziland where it seems to be confined to rocky ground with shallow soils.

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FLORAL FRIDAY FOTOS

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