Plant ID forum: unidentified cactus

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Galveston, Texas
Sep 15, 2017 11:27 AM CST
I have a drought-tolerant cactus I cannot identify. It is low-growing (<12"), bunching, cruciform, has tiny thorns in rows along spines, and flowers with large (3-4") purple 5-petaled bulbous flowers that open into >6"-8" bloom. They must have a carrion smell because they attract blue-green flies. The blooms are pretty with small hairs on the petal surfaces. They easily propagate from broken-off limbs. The flowers are large out of proportion to the size of the cactus. Can you tell me what it is?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Sep 15, 2017 1:43 PM CST

Just a guess... Stapelia gigantea. A photo would help to be sure.
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse Sempervivums Bromeliad
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Sep 15, 2017 2:07 PM CST
Here is our database info on Stapelia gigantea. Does it look like this?
Starfish Plant (Ceropegia gigantea)
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Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

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Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Sep 15, 2017 3:05 PM CST
Yes, a photo would help offer a more exact ID but it does sound like There are a few with purple blooms; you can view photos and growing information in our database:

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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
Sep 15, 2017 3:16 PM CST
S. gigantea has (mostly) yellow flowers. Check out the similarly named S. grandiflora...

[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Sep 15, 2017 3:23 PM (+)]
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Galveston, Texas
Sep 15, 2017 4:55 PM CST
Thanks to all. It is MOST DEFINITELY S. Gigantea. I have had it for several years, it has bloomed 3 or 4 years, thrives in full afternoon Galveston Island sun and I squirt it with water enough to drain though the 12"pots they grow in (with what can be very little soil) on a very irregular schedule. I give no care, no fertilizer and little water and it just keeps getting bigger with more blooms every year. It, like my night-blooming Cereus, seems to bloom more after a period of rain (or my irregular watering) Again, thank you for helping with this mystery. I will pose another soon, this time with pictures!

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