Last November, I photographed a very unusual flower at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, DC – it was Giant Stapela (Stapelia gigantea). They are also known as carrion plants – a well-deserved name given how they smell! The best description of how they smell is rotting flesh of a dead animal. This smell attracts the flies which are essential for pollination.
Giant Stapela’s are native to Africa – found from Tanzania to South Africa. The pale yellow with reddish-striped flowers resemble large five-armed starfish, which can grow up to 10 – 16″ across. The one I photographed was at least 10″ wide.
© 2012 Patty Hankins