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Stapelia gigantea, Zulu Giant, Carrion Plant 

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Stapelia gigantea

Zulu Giant, Carrion Plant
Family: Apocynaceae   (Formerly:Asclepiadaceae)
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Small shrub 2-5 ftFull sunModerate waterUnusual colorAttracts butterflies, hummingbirds

The focal point of this plant is the fleshy, 5-pointed, star-shaped flowers (to 10-16" across), each being pale ochre-yellow with thin transverse maroon lines. Flowers bloom in fall (flower buds are triggered by shortened daylight hours in fall). Flowers are pollinated by flies which reportedly find the carrion aroma irresistible. Spineless, 4-angled, succulent stems grow upright to 8-12" tall before scrambling sideways with the tips still erect. Plants in the ground may grow to 24" wide. Seed pods resemble milkweed and each individual seed has a milkweed-like parachute.

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