Starfish Flower Overview
Stapelia hirsuta is a widely distributed, low, perennial succulent and extremely variable, with five recognizable varieties and is closely related to S. grandiflora. The stems are almost always erect and are usually uniformly green to reddish, depending on the extent of exposure to the sun. Only rarely are they mottled with red or purple on green. The flowers are cream-coloured, purple at the centre, with purplish horizontal lines on the lobes which have purple-brown tips. The flowering period extends from late summer to late autumn. Characterized by their foul-smelling flowers reminiscent of the odour of rotting meat attracking pollinators. The hairs, coloration and surface mimic decaying animal matter and attract mostly flies, which act as pollinators. The strong carrion scent is sometimes recognizable at a great distance, especially on hot afternoons.