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A picture of a Carrion Flower

Carrion Flower

Orbea variegata

Also known as

Starfish Plant, Starfish Cactus, Carrion Cactus, Toad Cactus, Toad Plant, Basblom, Bokhoring (Afr.)

Orbea variegata - 5 Oct. 2013 by Philosofia (CC BY 2.0)

Partial Shade
Moderate care
Light watering
Tender

13b

USDA zone

18°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

30cm

Max

50cm

20cm

Min

30cm

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images

A photo of Carrion Flower
A photo of Carrion Flower
A photo of Carrion Flower
A photo of Carrion Flower
A photo of Carrion Flower

Overview

Orbeas are leafless, hairless, succulent perennials that form compact to diffuse clumps. They branch from the base and often arise from creeping rootstocks. The stems grow either vertically or horizontally and occasionally exhibit a creeping nature. The four-angled stems are usually prominently sharp-toothed, with a soft tip. They are always mottled purplish maroon on a green background, especially distinct when exposed to the sun. The flowers often have an unpleasant odour, reminiscent of rotting meat, which attracts pollinators such as flies. The seed-carrying follicles (fruit) look like two horns, hence the common name bokhoring. Uses: Orbea is mainly of horticultural value and only a few species are used as food, for example the stems of O. lugardii and O. maculata , which are eaten as a vegetable and taste like lettuce. O. namaquensis is also eaten occasionally, but is very bitter.

Common problems

Do not expose to too much water!

    Propagation

    Cuttings

    Leave stems on the soil - they will soon send out roots to anchor.

    Seed

    Sowing time - Summer

    Special Features

    Drought resistant

    Indoor plant

    Pot plant

    Attractive flowers

    Uses

    Orbea is mainly of horticultural value and only a few species are used as food, for example the stems of O. lugardii and O. maculata , which are eaten as a vegetable and taste like lettuce. O. namaquensis is also eaten occasionally, but is very bitter.

    Edible

    Stems, flowers