Another ‘stinky’ Stapeliad is blooming in the Tucker Greenhouse

maroon flower

This is Carraluma greenbergiana found in the Apocynaceae family, subfamily Asclepiadideae, and Tribe Stapeliae.

Stapeliads are succulent plants found in very dry, warm climates and are known as the ‘Orchids of the Succulent World’ as their pollination systems are similar to orchids.  Many species of stapeliads have leaves that resemble cacti, but are very distantly related to members of the Cactus family.  Most stapeliads are native to parts of Africa and the Middle East.  Many stapeliad flowers smell like rotting dead animals (roadkill) and are pollinated by blow flies & carrion flies.  I knew that these Carraluma flowers were blooming this morning because of their smell.  The smell filled the succulent greenhouse.  Not a pleasant smell in the least.  You should come in and check it out for yourself!