Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Year, new faces



When I hear "Hey, Jamie, come and check this," I know that old eagle-eyes has done it again. Pam has spotted something in the garden, and it's always well worth stopping whatever I am doing to go and have a look. So many blog postings here start with Pammy noticing something interesting going on. 

Sometimes it can be something so tiny that only she could spot it (she really must have been an eagle in a previous life) but today her find was so big and bleedin' obvious that even I might have spotted it (except I did actually walk past it half an hour earlier…)

So, what's all the excitement about? This person, pictured below.


This is a Stapelia variegata flower. It's quite big, about 2.5 inches (7cm) across, and of course it's part of our succulent patch.


We've had the plant for a number of years, and this is the first time it has flowered. It was once in a pot (and this is how most people know of Stapelias, as potted house plants). It has grown a fair bit since being transferred to our succulent patch a few years back, but no flowers have appeared until now.


The website and books say the flowers of Stapelia variegata have an unpleasant smell, but out in the fresh air it's nigh-on unnoticeable. The icky pong (so I'm told) is reminiscent of rotting meat, and its purpose is to attract flies and blowflies, which do the pollinating job normally done by bees. This is how stapelias survive in the wild in the harsh, bee-less, arid zones of Southern Africa, where they come from.

Just behind the flower is what appears to be another flower bud, so we are having a blaze of stapeliary glory to see in the New Year, folks.

So 2015 is off to a very good start here in Garden Amateurland, and we hope that 2015 turns out to be an excellent, flower-filled, delicious and productive, healthy and happy year for you all. 

5 comments:

Pam/Digging said...

That's a pretty cool flower, though I'm not keen on the blowfly and stench aspect. :-) Enjoy your rarity though, and I wish you a happy new year of gardening!

Jess said...

Such an interesting flower! Have you leant in close to 'see' whether it smells as bad as described?

And wishing you both a happy and healthy 2015 :)

Shivangni said...

A very happy new year to you, congratulations for this rarity in New Year. For a change happy that pictures don't carry scent yet!

Amy Crumbs said...

I recently got this same stapelia! It didn't smell too badly at first but when I got right up close it hit me. I have nominated you as one of my five bloggers for the Liebster Award here. No pressure to participate, just a bit of fun!

Jamie said...

Hi Amy
I never got down to ground/nose level before my Stapelia faded away. I think I'm glad I missed out!

And thanks for the nomination, it the basis of my next blog posting.