a Stapelia plant has been growing in my garden for a number of years.
Maybe I imagine that it might have bloomed once before.
But did I jump up and down when I discovered this flower the other day?
Yes, there was a dance of sorts to witness had you been around.
Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens - Desert Garden
More than a decade ago I visited the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens for the first time, touring the magnificent Desert Garden while
researching my book, Gardenwalks in California.
I'll never forget seeing a mass planting of Stapelia gigantea, with many of the large, strange blooms like starfish... resting on the earth. Each, perhaps 12 inches across.
My flower measures about 2 1/2 inches. I don't mind that it's tiny in comparison.
Also called the Carrion Flower, Stapelia has a reputation for being stinky
to attract flies that pollinate the plant.
Before opening, the flower's early stage begins as a strange, puffy pod-like form.
It's been one of my favorite, if all too rare, sights since entering the gardening realm.
Now my own pass-along plant has rewarded me after years of benign neglect.
Succulent plants are fascinating in their diversity. So unlike the beautiful blooms I generally cultivate. But Stapelia stands alone in my mind. I really couldn't conjure up a more intriguing flower form if I tried.