When you’re a flower…and you attract flies

Cactus and succulents in great quantity

Cactus and succulents in great quantity

September 18 – Dale currently has a table of special plants sitting on the front porch that he carefully keeps in good order. During the winter, those plants sit on a table indoors in front of the window, but from about May 1 till cold weather comes, they enjoy the sunshine and fresh air just as much as we do. A number of aloe vera and cactus share the table with an orchid, vining pothos, and a number of stapelias, with sometimes up to thirty star-shaped blooms.

You'll like me - I smell like rotten meat!

You’ll like me – I smell like rotten meat

Now the stapelias have a real reputation. They positively stink, and it’s no wonder they are pollinated by flies! I took a plant with a big unopened bud to the school secretary last year, and she thought it was going to be an outstanding attraction in the office. When I got back to school several days later, I found the stapelia and its characteristic smell sitting outside the office on a table, a good distance from the secretary. Some of the kids walked close enough to admire the beauty of a plant they had never seen before, and quickly departed holding their noses! – CHRIS

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