Eau de Stapelia

I am proud to report that I have not one, not two, but three different stapelia succulents in my garden are blooming at the same time. I wish I could tell you my secret to making this happen, but I don’t have a clue.

The little flower below is no bigger than a dime. Teeny-tiny with a little fuzz.

This one is one of my favorites. How can you not love the perfection of nature’s work?! The flower is about two inches across and has a thick, fleshiness to it, but no fuzz.  These two flowers must be slightly different varieties because their colors are a bit different from each other, the bottom one being slightly greener.

This one is Stapelia gigantea, and is the biggest of the blooms, 10 inches across. It smells, but not too much. I think I like the flower bud before it opened better than the flower. It looks like a bell. The buds look like they are ready to pop for two weeks. It is very satisfying to see multiple buds developing on the plant.

Stapelia succulents can be identified by the four-sided fleshy leaves. My plants’ stems range from pencil width in the smallest one to over an inch on the biggest plant.

I grow stapelias in bright light but not much direct sun unless in the morning or late afternoon. I water the plants regularly, letting them dry out between waterings, but not to the point of stress. Other than than, no special treatment.

I’m assuming that the weather stars aligned perfectly to produce all the blooms this year, or maybe I lucked out and found each plant’s happy place. Either way, it has been satisfying to see the range of interesting flowers.