For years I struggled to find a suitable plant for the planter on my front gate. No sun, sheltered from rain and plenty of heat. That amounts to tough conditions. What else would do well in such a spot but a succulent and I found one which brought with it the added bonus of a draping habit.
The plant is Red dragon flower, Huernia schneideriana, a native of Masagascar, South Africa. This is one of my easy care plants as long as I keep it out of the sun. I can leave it untended for weeks on end and although it might become a little shrunken will quickly soak up a drink of water. As summer progresses its tresses become longer and longer. Side branches form which are easily potted up in preparation for new plantings next year.
This is a member of the Asclepiadaceae to which belong the Stapelias. For this reason you might expect the flowers to have a smell of rotting flesh and sometimes called carrion plants because the smell they emit attracts flies which pollinate the flowers.
Would a visitor passing through the gate bend to sniff one of the pretty blood-red flowers? I do hope not becasue rotting flesh is what they would smell. But you do have to get really close to get a whiff.
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