Stapelia Grandiflora (The Starfish Cactus)

Stapelia Grandiflora Image

Amidst the vast array of captivating cacti species, Stapelia Grandiflora, also known as the Starfish Cactus, stands out as an enigmatic and visually stunning plant. This succulent has garnered attention and fascination from plant enthusiasts worldwide with its intriguing starfish-shaped blooms and unique characteristics. In this article, we delve into the captivating features and care requirements of Stapelia Grandiflora, unraveling the secrets behind its distinctive allure.

Exquisite Starfish-Shaped Blooms

The most remarkable feature of Stapelia Grandiflora is undoubtedly its exquisite starfish-shaped flowers. These vibrant, intricate blooms come in various colors, including red, purple, and yellow. Each flower boasts elaborate patterns and hairy textures, resembling a starfish in appearance and structure. These blooms’ striking and unconventional beauty sets Stapelia Grandiflora apart from other cacti species, making it a true marvel of nature.

Unusual Structure and Adaptations

Beyond its captivating blooms, Stapelia Grandiflora exhibits unique structural and adaptive characteristics. Its stems are thick and succulent, featuring fleshy, greenish-gray textures that store water and enable the plant to withstand periods of drought. The stems also possess distinct, raised bumps or tubercles, adding to the plant’s distinctive appearance. These adaptations make Stapelia Grandiflora well-suited to arid and semi-arid regions, where it can survive in harsh and challenging environments.

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Care Requirements

Caring for Stapelia Grandiflora is straightforward, provided you understand its specific needs. Here are some essential care guidelines:

  • Light: The Starfish Cactus thrives in bright, indirect light. It can tolerate some direct sunlight, especially during the morning or evening, but intense midday sun should be avoided to prevent sunburn on the delicate stems.
  • Watering: Stapelia Grandiflora has typical succulent water requirements. It prefers infrequent, deep waterings, allowing the soil to dry out between watering sessions. Maintaining a careful balance and avoiding prolonged moisture in the soil is essential to prevent root rot, as overwatering can harm the plant’s root system.
  • Soil and Potting: Well-draining soil is essential for the Starfish Cactus. A mixture of cactus soil or sandy loam combined with perlite or pumice works well.
  • Temperature and Humidity: Stapelia Grandiflora thrives in warm temperatures ranging from 70-85°F (21-29°C). It prefers low to moderate humidity levels and can tolerate dry air conditions.

DO YOU KNOW? Caring (propagating, pruning/trimming, beheading, watering, …) is a set of skills that is widely applicable to succulents. Read the in-depth guide here >>

Richard Miller – Succulent City

Fascinating Blooming Process

The blooming process of Stapelia Grandiflora is a spectacle worth waiting for. The starfish-shaped flowers usually emerge in late spring or early summer. The blooms emit a unique scent that resembles a combination of rotting meat and carrion, attracting flies and other pollinators. While unpleasant to humans, this odor is crucial for attracting pollinators to ensure successful fertilization and the production of seed pods.


Stapelia Grandiflora, or the Starfish Cactus, enthralls with its stunning starfish-shaped blooms and remarkable adaptations. Its unusual structure, care requirements, and fascinating blooming process make it a captivating addition to any succulent collection. Whether you appreciate its distinctive beauty, enjoy its mesmerizing blooms, or find fascination in its adaptations, Stapelia Grandiflora is a remarkable plant that brings intrigue and awe to cacti. Embrace the allure of the Starfish Cactus and embark on a journey into its unique and enigmatic world of succulence and beauty.

If you want to know more about Stapelia, click here :

Succulent City chief editor


Succulent City

Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!

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Posted in Succulents