Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Carrion Plant, Starfish Flower, Starfish Cactus
Stapelia grandiflora

Family: Asclepiadaceae (ass-kle-pee-ad-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Stapelia (sta-PEL-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: grandiflora (gran-dih-FLOR-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Stapelia flavirostris
Synonym:Stapelia desmetiana
Synonym:Stapelia ambigua
Synonym:Stapelia obscura

One vendor has this plant for sale.

41 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Tropicals and Tender Perennials

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is suitable for growing indoors

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From semi-hardwood cuttings
Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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There are a total of 46 photos.
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9 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive JayLyn213 On Nov 21, 2012, JayLyn213 from South Dennis, MA wrote:

Yes I found this plant in Florida it was given to me by a woman a small clipping and this is the results I kept it watered and fed .
It grew only two flowers two years ago now that I live in Massachusetts I have it in a pot and it did great this year. It's been in the sun and kept watered. When buds appeared in October, I brought it inside. This is the result. It's beautiful but it does stink but I love it. Also it's not hard to reproduce them. It also likes to be in a sunny window

Neutral BUFFY690 On Aug 26, 2011, BUFFY690 from Prosperity, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Adding this to my list of plants acquired this year, got some in a trade (enough to fill an Hanging Basket) all rooted pieces, got them hanging in with a few sod staples to keep them a little upright :0) hope to get to see this blooming soon.

Positive Alexwtf_93 On Dec 6, 2010, Alexwtf_93 from Susanville, CA wrote:

i love this plant, although its never bloomed for me, it grows nicely all summer outdoors and inside for winter

Neutral atcps On Oct 12, 2010, atcps from WOODLAWN, TN wrote:

I grow this plant as a houseplant and have done so for more than four years. It has finally bloomed and oh my oh my. I walked into the large room thinking a large rodent had died. As I began looking for the rodent it soon became clear to me it was this flower. While the flower and buds are gorgeous and most unique this is a plant you want to site away from your nose.

Positive melmccracken On Sep 30, 2006, melmccracken from Bristol, TN wrote:

I have a very large star fish cactus that has already bloomed a big flower and has about 12 more bud still to bloom. it has busted its pot and needs repotting , will take pics soon for others to injoy, this one has more of a grey and red color, bristol tenn.

Positive randomplanter On Aug 20, 2006, randomplanter from Houston, TX wrote:

I have 2 different types of the plant, I think. One has many very small flowers and one has the giant flower. It was such an unexpected shock when it first bloomed and now I look forward to each one. I just wish I knew how to make them produce more flowers. So far I only get one big one a year.
Any suggestions?

Positive StarGazey26 On Jul 8, 2005, StarGazey26 from (Zone 10a) wrote:

This plant is awsome, i have a few, growing inside, in my west facing window! And they do great.. Be sure to let them dry out real good before watering again, because they are prone to root rot. No pest's noted. They do tend to smell when the flower is touched or if you disturbe the hairs, smells like bad feet to me!! But other than that, an easy and very pretty plant to grow, everyone should own one, or two!

Positive lebtuk On May 29, 2005, lebtuk from Lebanon, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

When we moved to Pheonix, Az in late 1989 I planted one plant on each side of the front door. By the summer of 1992 they covered an area 2' x 3' on each side.
They flowered mostly during the fall and winter. Only drawback is that the flowers do draw flies.
They seem to grow in any old dirt but spread and bloom well in 1/4 sand, 1/2 organic matter and 1/4 dirt.

Positive snowserotic On Nov 18, 2004, snowserotic from El Cajon, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have a few pretty big ones. I had heard they dislike full sun so mine are in the shade. Maybe that's why I haven't seen any blooms yet?

Positive hawaiiGuy On Nov 17, 2004, hawaiiGuy from Kailua Kona, HI wrote:

This is a great succulent groundcover that should be used much more often. Here in Hawaii it blooms sporadically throughout the year in large waves of the most unusual blooms. Kids love the lightly furry blooms. This needs to be planted in a prominent location. It does great in about half day sun or more, but the blooms fade quickly in full sun, so it is best in afternoon shade. Quite vigorous but very easy to maintain and propagate by cuttings or sections pulled away. I would imagine it dislikes standing water or constantly moist soil, however after rainy periods it blooms even more profusely. I have a large one in a 14" hanging basket on my front lanai and it always attracts attention since it is at eye level. Highly recommended for the lovers of the unusual, and easy even if a patio plant only.

Positive corky59 On Jul 16, 2004, corky59 from Lakeland, FL wrote:

i have several seedlings growing. they are about an inch tall. i will be transplanting them into seperate pots soon. i am in lakeland, fl. they are in partial shade in the a.m. and full sun about an hour. marilynne


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Goodyear, Arizona
Mesa, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Scottsdale, Arizona
Tolleson, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona (2 reports)
Bonita, California
Chula Vista, California
Claremont, California
Clayton, California
El Cajon, California
La Puente, California
Long Beach, California
Nipomo, California
Pleasant Hill, California
Rowland Heights, California
Solvang, California
Susanville, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Bartow, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Key West, Florida
Lakeland, Florida
Lecanto, Florida
Mulberry, Florida
Ocala, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Saint Augustine, Florida
Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Barbourville, Kentucky
South Dennis, Massachusetts
Eupora, Mississippi
Stockton, Missouri
Mc Cormick, South Carolina
Bristol, Tennessee
Copperhill, Tennessee
Johnson City, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Freeport, Texas
Harlingen, Texas
Houston, Texas
League City, Texas
Richmond, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Spring Branch, Texas
Dillwyn, Virginia
Kalama, Washington
Quilcene, Washington

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