Did you know that the flowers of Stapelia gigantea have a leathery texture and pestilent smell mimic the rotting flesh of a dead animal?
Stapelia - Stapelia gigantea
Stapelia is a genus of low-growing, spineless, stem succulent plants, predominantly from South Africa with a few from other parts of Africa. Several Asian and Latin American species were formerly included but they have all now been transferred to other genera. The flowers of certain species, most notably Stapelia gigantea, can reach 41 cm (16 inches) in diameter when fully open. Most Stapelia flowers are visibly hairy and generate the odour of rotten flesh when they bloom.
The hairs, coloration and surface mimic decaying animal matter and attract mostly
flies, which act as pollinators. The strong carrion scent is sometimes recognisable at a great
distance, especially on hot afternoons. Surprisingly, species such as S. erectiflora and S. flavopurpurea have sweetly scented
flowers, but they are rare.