Stapelia Leendertziae (The Carrion Flower)

Stapelia Leendertziae Image

Stapelia Leendertziae, commonly known as the Carrion Flower, is a beautiful succulent that fascinates and repels with its peculiar characteristics. Native to Southern Africa, this unique plant has gained popularity among succulent enthusiasts for its remarkable floral display and distinctive scent.

Exquisite Floral Display

The Carrion Flower earns its name from its uncanny ability to mimic the scent of decaying flesh. While the odor may be repellent to some people. However, it is crucial in attracting its primary pollinators – flies and beetles.

The flower is a masterpiece, with five pointed petals arranged in a star-like formation. It showcases stunning color variations, ranging from dark burgundy to deep red, often adorned with intricate patterns and markings that add to its captivating allure.

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Unique Structure and Growth Habits

Stapelia Leendertziae features fleshy stems that grow sprawling or ascending, forming clumps of succulent branches. The stems are covered with prominent tubercles or bumps that appear textured. These tubercles often have small, hair-like structures that add to the plant’s visual interest.

Desert Adaptations

Like many succulents, the Carrion Flower has developed adaptations to thrive in arid environments:

  • Water Storage: The succulent stems of Stapelia Leendertziae function as water reservoirs, allowing the plant to survive prolonged periods of drought. This adaptation helps it conserve moisture and endure the harsh conditions of its natural habitat.
  • Sun Tolerance: The Carrion Flower is highly tolerant of intense sunlight. It thrives in bright, direct light and requires at least 4-6 hours of direct sun daily to maintain optimal growth and flower production.
  • Minimal Water Requirements: This succulent has low water needs. Adjust the watering frequency based on environmental conditions. It is essential to avoid overwatering, as excess moisture can lead to root rot.

Cultivation and Care

To ensure the successful cultivation of Stapelia Leendertziae, consider the following care tips:

  • Light: Provide your Carrion Flower with bright, indirect sunlight or partial shade. Avoid exposing it to prolonged periods of direct sunlight, as it may scorch the plant.
  • Temperature: Stapelia Leendertziae thrives in warm conditions from 21°C to 29°C (approximately 70°F and 85°F). This plant deals terribly with frost and extreme temperature fluctuations.
  • Soil: Use a well-draining succulent or cactus potting mix. It should provide good aeration and prevent waterlogging.
  • Watering: Water your Carrion Flower sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. The frequency of watering will be decided by the season and environmental conditions.
  • Fertilization: The Carrion Flower does not require frequent fertilization. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to use a balanced, diluted succulent fertilizer during the growing season.
  • Propagation: There is one effective method for this plant: stem cuttings. Only use the dry cuttings after a few days before planting them in well-draining soil.
  • Maintenance: Monitor your Carrion Flower for pests, such as mealybugs. Handle the plant carefully, as the stems may break easily. Remove any infested parts and treat them accordingly.

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


Stapelia Leendertziae, the Carrion Flower, presents a paradoxical beauty that intrigues and repulses. Its exquisite floral display, unique structure, and desert adaptations make it a remarkable addition to succulent collections. Not only Stapelia Leendertziae, but there are also more Stapelia plants on Succulent City. See a few suggestions below: 

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