Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Stapelia Supernova

Stapelia Supernova
7 x 7
Pastel on UArt 500 Sanded Paper

Stapelia is a fairly innocuous succulent. Fleshy spineless upright spikes form the green plant itself. There is nothing spiny to prick you, just a fuzzy softness. Then the innocent little thing begins to bloom in mid to late summer. It puts out these very odd shaped buds that are almost like air filled balloons that terminate in a point drawing out into a tendril. Then the five petaled flower opens and curls backwards revealing creamy yellow petals striped a blood red and covered in tiny little hairs. Then, you begin to notice something a bit odd - flies start arriving and when the wind blows just so.....oh my what a smell! It's not like roses at all. This little Stapelia is also known as the "Carrion Plant"...and it smells of rotting meat. It pollinates with flies. Despite the odd nature of the plant, I find it absolutely fascinating. Nature always finds a way. I like unusual plants, and this one is pretty high up on the list.

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