Carrion Plant (Stapelia Gigantea)

Carrion Plant flower

Also known as the Toad plant and the Starfish plant, this succulent from South Africa puts on an impressive show. Large buds emerge from the base of the plant and open up to a flower that is seven to ten inches in diameter. The name for this plant is a result of the “disgusting smell”, as one person described it. The odor has been described as having the aroma of rotting meat. Supposedly, the smell lasts only a short while and is bearable if grown outdoors.

We captured these first two photos at a friend’s home recently.

The first photo was taken  at sunset, leaving an impression of a much larger plant.

Carrion Plant
Carrion Plant

This photo  shows the Carrion flower bud is  almost ready to open.


 About the same time, another friend of ours sent us a picture of his plant in full bloom.

Starfish Flower
Starfish Flower

 What can I say? This is a very striking flower.

Thanks to Edye, Sally, Rusty and Tim for growing these unusual flowers.

Happy Gardening,
Dave and Trish

Two Florida gardeners living in a sub-tropical paradise. Find us on Google+!


  1. That plant is pretty cool. Are there any special care instructions for it, and are do you know where I could get one so that I can start trying out my thumb (hoping it’s green)?

    1. Like a lot of succulents, don’t fry it in the sun, don’t let it freeze and don’t drown it in water. As for availability, find a friend with this plant and ask them to break off a piece from the base of the plant. Make sure you get some of the roots with you cutting.

      1. Assuming the broken piece has had a chance to callus off for a couple of days, you can dip the broken off point into a little rootone and plant it in some light potting soil, like cactus mix. Keep it moist (not wet) and you could have new shoots rather quickly.

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