Friday, February 8, 2008

Can't Have One Without The Other


For eight years, I’ve waited for a flower on this Stapelia grandiflora. The lack of flowers may be that I move this plant frequently throughout the year. It stays indoors (in various locations) in late fall and winter, then goes outdoors on the patio (in various locations) the remainder of the year. I thought I was doing it some good, but sometimes moving it at the wrong time will abort any forming buds.


Another reason may be that it has remained in the same pot all these years. For maximum bloom potential, the stems should be sorted out, divided and repotted. Flowers only occur on new stems, and some of these stems are a few years old. The old stems should go to give new stems a chance to develop. Eight years in the same pot is a long time!


I suppose it’s just well that it hasn’t bloomed. This plant, called the Carrion Plant, acquired that name for good reason. The beautiful, purple-brown flowers have a rotting meat smell that is quite offensive. The smell attracts flies and other insects that feast on carrion, and they then act as pollinators. This presents quite a dilemma. I can hope for beautiful flowers but then I have to take the smell. I can't have one without the other.


8 comments:

barbara said...

I remember when the University's conservatory had a Titan Alum bloom. Maybe 10 years ago. The odor was so horrible, they had GAS MASKS on hand. Hee-hee.

Curtis said...

Well with flowers or without. It is a nice looking plant.

nikkipolani said...

I think you done right! The plant is a handsome specimen and maybe could do without the flowers!

Peter said...

8 years! That's a lot of years without fresh soil.

Wurzerl said...

My Stapelia didn't bloom one year. The Summer place was to dark. In my winter garden at a place with right sun the beautiful flower with the rotting meat smell did bloom.
Have a beautiful weekend Wurzerl

Tracy said...

You need the flowers at least once so you can say you smelled it b4.....lol. I have heard of this one too, and heard about the stench, but a flower is a flower. When or if it flowers, just put it far far from the house.....lol, or in a sealed box.

Mary Beth said...

I have a large pot of carion plants that are among my favorites - their blooms are just so exotic looking - but i do have this plant in a breezey part of the yard, just to keep the aroma dispursed!

Annie in Austin said...

Hello No Rain,

One of my passalong stapelia plants bloomed last fall - first time in years so I put photos on my blog. I haven't done much in the sorting out and repotting department - maybe that's the reason.
The scent was not very noticable to me, but the flies found it easily ~

Annie at the Transplantable Rose