I have a succulent I've had for MANY years but this is the first year it's ever bloomed

by Chris Johnson
(Houston, TX)



It's "branches" look sort of like a pickles but cactus like notches.

The buds remind me of Audry, the plant from "little shop of horrors".

When it opens it's HUGE with white/cream colored petals with red squiggles and they're very fuzzy almost like fur.

Flies seem to be attracted to the bloom. I am attaching a photo.

Can you tell me what I have? Is there anything special I need to know about care or making cuttings?

Comments for I have a succulent I've had for MANY years but this is the first year it's ever bloomed

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Jan 15, 2015
great shot of a hardy plant
by: ToeMoss

we heave had ours since 1974 and in the last 6 years i have had a bloom every summer. it drapes over the ledge of the shelf in my front window so the photo-op is not quite picturesque. i recall hearing about the smell but also have never witnessed. propagating another for the last five months without following any rules and it has taken to the new home like a champ. i think it might be about time to put the 40 year old plant into a larger pot with some fresh soil......

Jul 16, 2011
Easy to propagate
by: Susan

I have one of these too. Mine bloomed last year and is just starting to bud again this year. I showed it to my mom and she wanted one too. I noticed one of its "branches" laying over out of the pot. It sent it's own roots out and rooted itself. So I dug it up and potted it for my mom. Last year, I also split it up and it is refilling the pot it is in, so it is very easy to propagate.

I've never noticed it smelling: good, bad or otherwise, but its blooms are amazing!

May 06, 2011
stapelia gigantea
by: jacquie

the biggest flower in the carrion family. only want water in summer and after flowering will go into dormancy. you can separate some stems by inserting a fish knife to divide. allow these to callous over in a dry place, and then leave undisturbed for at least a fortnight in dry soil. water minimally in winters.Never water any succulents for a few days after cutting stems or roots to prevent rotting.

Oct 04, 2010
Thanks for info
by: Chris Johnson

Thank you so much for the helpful info. I could not smell the flower myself. Guess the smell is not that pungent but I did see LOTS of flies crawling around on it a few times while it was in bloom. Bllom lasted about 2 days. More buds on it so looking forward to more blooms. I will check out the site given to help me keep the flowers coming.

Oct 02, 2010
VERY strange... but wonderful!
by: Countrymouse.

Hey Chris,
Wow! What an interesting and awesome flower.... it looks like it should be starring in a science fiction movie!!
Don't know if I'd be crazy about the smell - but I guess it's all about fertilization and if it gets the job done that's all that matters.
Thanks so much for sharing that with us.

Oct 01, 2010
by: Jacki

Hi Chris,
Audry is a Stapelia, or carrion flower. The blooms have the delightful scent of rotting meat, which attracts the flies to pollinate it. You must have exactly the right conditions for it to bloom, hopefully you can encourage it again.

This Wikipedia entry tells more about Carrion flowers which are from several different genera or families, and more research will help narrow it down.

Daves Garden entries have more pictures of
Carrion flowers to compare with Audry.

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