From Africa. Plants resemble cacti, with clumps of four-sided, spineless stems. Summer flowers are large, fleshy, shaped like five-pointed stars; they usually have an elaborate, circular, fleshy disk in the center. Blossoms of most smell like carrion to attract insect pollinators, but odor is not usually pervasive enough to be offensive. They need a cool, dry rest period in winter. Best managed in pots; allow to dry somewhat between soakings. Tolerate extreme heat.
- Grow this plant as a remarkable novelty.
- Stems grow about 9 inches tall, bearing wrinkled, fringy-edged, brown-purple flowers marked in creamy white or yellow; each bloom reaches 1016 inches wide.
- Protect plants where frosts can occur.
- Resembles Stapelia gigantea, but grows just 3 inches tall, with dark red blooms up to 1 inches across.
- Perfect size for a windowsill plant.