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This genus has large star-shaped flowers that can exceed 8 inches in diameter. The color varies from red to brown, often marbled. All or part of the flowers are hairy.
They are commonly cultivated as pot- or rockery plants in warmer countries.
This is one of the largest flowers in the plant world! Great container plant, Stapelia gigantea, commonly called carrion flower, is a spine-free succulent member of the milkweed (not cactus!) family that is native to dry desert areas from Tanzania to South Africa. The common name comes from the malodorous flower aroma which resembles the smell of rotting meat. For those willing to look the other way on flower aroma, additional common names include giant toad flower or starfish flower. 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. Genus name honors Dutch physician Johannes Bodaeus van Stapel (1602-1636).
Stoebe plumosa provides interesting, long-lasting foliage for the vase. Dried and fresh material is popular in the floral industry. Supremely silvery - white foliage makes Stoebe plumosa a contrast plant for any sunny well-drained garden.
It has become very popular for indoor use over the last 10 to 15 years. It is used outdoors in both Florida and California as a landscape plant, where it can reach a height of 20 or more feet. The flowers can reach a size of 10-12 inches, but plants need to be a few years old before they will flower. Don't expect flowers indoors. Nicolai can handle a wide variety of soils and can grow in a variety of conditions. One condition that it cannot take is having extremely WET soil so it is best to keep it on the dry side. The "White Bird" isn't a small plant, but it is a very upright plant so it can fit into some tight spaces. Their large banana-shaped leaves add a rich tropical look to almost any interior. Growers usually use multiple plants to get a fuller plant.
Flowers have a beautiful seagreen/turquoise color that is almost beyond description. This color is extremely rare in the plant world. The bloom is a pendant, clustered birds beak like inflorescence up to 4 1/2 ft. long and puts on a spectacular show when in bloom. Often used in Lei making. Can be grown indoors. The hue is probably the rarest in the world of flowers. A vigorous grower once established, it can reach 30-40 ft tall, but is perfect for a pergola where the blooming clusters can hang down. Specimen vine. Blooming season: winter-spring. Cannot stand hard freeze or drought. Grows best in Zones 9-11. Young leaves had very dark, almost black color. As the leaf matures, it turns deep green.