Starfish Flower, Giant Toad Flower, Carrion Flower. This spine-free succulent, Stapelia gigantea, is one of the plant world's giants and belongs to the milkweed family. It thrives in dry desert areas from Tanzania to South Africa. Its name "Carrion" comes from its unique scent that's similar to rotting meat, attracting pollinating flies who find the aroma irresistible. The standout feature of this plant is its large, fleshy star-shaped flowers, flaunting pale ochre-yellow petals with thin maroon lines. It blooms in the fall when daylight hours shorten. Despite its unusual smell, it makes for a stunning container plant with its 4-angled, succulent stems that grow upright to 8-12" before sprawling sideways. Plants in the ground can reach up to 24" wide. When it seeds, each pod looks like a mini milkweed parachute. Let's also appreciate its interesting background - the genus name honors Dutch physician Johannes Bodaeus van Stapel from the 1600s.