Tuesday, October 21, 2014

WHAT'S THAT SMELL?

I left a note on my computer when I left the house this morning. It was to remind me of something I needed to do immediately on my return.


Monday, I was more than relieved when I came home from a weekend away to find the flower bud still closed on my Stapelia. Sometimes called Carrion flower, this is a spineless succulent, requiring very little in the way of water but protection from cold winters. I had already missed one bloom this summer. These plants would normally sprawl across the ground with the heavy flower supported by the ground so here it is supported by the table.


This morning one of the petals had freed itself. It wouldn't be long before the whole flower opened.


That was why I left the note. When I checked this afternoon it was completely open, with flies buzzing around, attracted by the rotting flesh smell. Despite its revolting smell I think it is a wonderful flower and I have Annie at Transplantable Rose to thank for giving me a couple of stems to root. I have to protect this plant in the winter but it is worth the short show.
ON SECOND THOUGHTS!
This morning I checked the flower to find the flies had laid eggs and they had already hatched. No way.


 I clipped off the flower and put it in a bag for the trash. I thought the flies pollinated. I didn't know they laid their eggs.

8 comments:

  1. The flowers are fascinating but I don't know if I can reconcile myself to the smell issue (or the associated flies). I have a tiny Stapelia, picked up at a succulent show earlier this year, but my guess is that it's far from bloom size.

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  2. My husband just bent down to smell the flower. What a mistake that was. He had no idea that it didn't smell like our Felicia rose. But the flower is done and the flies are gone. I doubt there was any pollination because I doubt anyone in our neighborhood has one and The Transplantable Rose is too far away.

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  3. What a fascinating plant---though I doubt I'd have your loyalty to it. I'm lucky that YOU share the bloom. How beautiful! And brief.

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  4. It's such a pretty bloom -- at first I thought you had it indoors and I said to myself "that's risky!" I've smelled similar blooms (when my Amorphophallus konjac flowered) and I'm not sure it's worth it, no matter how pretty. :)

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  5. A Stapelia by any other name would still smell.....awful? That is an amazing bloom. Perhaps one to keep close to a (closed) window for aroma free viewing, because I'd simply have to stop and stare at that one for long periods of time. Creepy and charming, all at once. Very appropriate as we head towards Halloween!

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  6. Wow, it is a striking flower, but I don't know if I could keep such a plant with my sensitive nose! It would definitely have to stay outside!

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  7. Jenny - that's a beautiful bloom. It's like a larger version of a similar plant that you gave me that has tiny, cranberry colored blooms. And then the fly story went and ruined it all. Ewwwww!

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  8. Oh, gross. I grew this outside year round in San Miguel de Allende MX, on top of the garden wall and away from gathering spots. I never saw maggots, just the occasional fly. Ugh. Who knew?

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