Black and White Bloom on Long tier succulent plant
(Sacramento, CA, US)
A friend's neighbor who has this plant does not even know what type of succulent plant this is... but my friend got the photo of the plant and the beautiful black and white bloom!
We'd love to know what this is for identification purposes and because I'd love to have one myself.
Hi Sandolar, these are indeed fascinating plants; there are two species that go by the name of Carrion Plant (called that because the flowers have a distinctive stench, similar to rotting meat); this one is Stapelia, and the other one which has that characteristic is Huernia.
Stapelia have the trait of producing the most amazingly huge flowers, opening them from a balloon like bud into this wide open shape, which the flies love. They are attracted to the smell, but then transfer the pollen from plant to plant to fertilize the flower and produce seeds.
They are easy to propagate, and will root from a piece of the 'stem' if you find a small one and gently pull it off. They root easily if you don't overwater them, and although it can take several years before they produce the blooms, eventually, you too can experience the distinct aroma.
Have fun with your Carrion Flower!