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Some of My Favorite Xeriscape Plants Are Real Stinkers

By SongofJoy
July 21, 2014

I love stapeliads, especially Stapelia gigantea. Some people say the blooms emit a terrible odor. Others say they can't smell them at all.

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Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Horntoad
Jul 20, 2014 8:37 PM CST
When I was a teenager, I was very much into cactus and succulents, and this was one of my favorites.
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Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Jul 21, 2014 5:38 AM CST
It does make an awesome plant. Once you see it in bud or bloom, you don't tend to forget it. Along with natives and herbs, succulents are my favorite plants to grow.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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pod
Jul 21, 2014 6:18 AM CST
This is a favorite of mine also. I noticed (even after all the rain we have just received) these blooms are busting out all over.

I think the reason some folks don't notice the odor is it varies with time of day and dryness of soil.

My worst experience was on a frosty October night when I quickly moved some tender plants in the house. I didn't move them back out the next morning and when I came in from work that evening the house reeked like something had died. I searched high and low and finally realized a Stapelia bud had opened in the warmth of the house. Nasty! lol That may be why my husband built me a greenhouse. lol Green Grin!
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Jul 21, 2014 7:32 AM CST
lol. That's one way to get a greenhouse. Big Grin
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
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Ursula
Jul 21, 2014 10:00 AM CST
I find that it really smells when the sun shines right on it and it is nice and warm! Smiling
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
Jul 21, 2014 11:26 AM CST
I've never seen this plant before. Very interesting!

Thanks for widening my knowledge of plants!
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Jul 21, 2014 11:27 AM CST
Glad you found it interesting, Vickie. Thanks for reading.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Kim
Beaver Falls, PA (Zone 6a)
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klc
Jul 22, 2014 4:01 PM CST
I had one many years ago when I was a kid and it bloomed one time.... don't remember an odor but then again....it was outside and in the shade. Loved the plant even without the blooms :)
I hate losing plants....I know they are "just plants" but when you nurse them along and baby them and get them to grow, bloom, and be pretty and they die....it's like losing a friend..... Crying
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Jul 22, 2014 4:15 PM CST
I agree. To me it is a striking plant even out of bloom.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Nancy
Eastern Shore Maryland (Zone 7b)
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MrsGreenthumb
Jul 26, 2014 10:45 AM CST
I have one and lots of it's children, and I can't say I have ever had a smell from it. I do find that the ones in the sun bloom, where the ones in the shade do not. The flower is the only thing that keeps me wanting this plant around!

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