I have had this Stapelia pulchellus for 8 years. It was passed along to me while taking a gardening course.  The sweet woman who shared it, appeared to be down on her luck and was living in a travel trailer.  Yet, she got enough money together to learn more about plants and was generous enough to share her extras.  I think of her often when tending her plant.

So  after 8 years, the succulent is finally producing a flower.  The anticipation has been enormous and I have been documenting  it every step of the way.  The top photo is from September 25th, when the two buds were discovered.  The last in this series of photos was taken October 9th with only one bud surviving.


Everyday I am sure it will open, but the bud just grows larger.  By October 12th it is 6 inches long.  My anticipation is also growing.

DSC_0615Finally, 20 days later the waiting ended.  The bud popped opened to reveal a large star-shaped flower.


Each petal is 6 inches long and is edged with fine hairs.

DSC_0610The flower smells like carrion (dead animals) and attracts flies to pollinate it. On the upper right side of the center is a red-eyed fly.  The flower did not smell much at first, so of course I got closer and inhaled.  And yes, it did smell bad and the odor became stronger as the day went on and attracted more flies.


The Stapelia pulchellus flower has a very hypnotic pattern making it attractive to humans too.  It was well worth the anticipation and I am hoping not to wait another 8 years to see this beautiful flower again.

8 Comments on “Anticipation”

  1. Chloris says:

    Wonderful to see this in bloom. I brought a bit back from Martinique 5 years ago. It does get buds sometimes but they always drop off before opening. Wonderful to see yours. Any hints on looking after it when the buds appear?

  2. Jardin says:

    Fascinating and beautiful, and with a lovely story too, I’m sure the lady who gave it to you would be so glad to see it still thriving.

  3. Ann Coleman says:

    Beautiful! I had no idea there were flower that only bloom every eight years!

  4. What a stunning flower! I’m amazed at how large it is.

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