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Stapelia Variegata | by Aqua-Marina
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Stapelia Variegata

Or, to give the Stapelia it's common name ... Carrion Flower! Actually, since this is one of the smallest of the family and the flower is only about 2" across, you have to get very close to catch a whiff. It has been growing on a high shelf in my greenhouse for twelve years and blooms every year. Sometimes a long cylindrical seedpod is set and, eventually, it splits open along its length to produce seeds on a feathered spiral similar to pelargoniums/geraniums. I managed to germinate three last year so I now have one Mummy Stapelia and three offspring!

You have to get close to appreciate the beautiful symmetry of this five-petalled bloom with its circle-and-star centre.

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Taken on September 29, 2007