Stapelia hirsuta var. hirsuta
The beautiful and rare Stapelia hirsuta (Gentianales - Apocynaceae) is a species restricted to the South/western Cape Province of South Africa.
This bizarre plant produces a huge, star-shaped flower reaching 6” across. This species is covered in dense hairs. However, the unique aspect of these plants is that in wild they are pollinated by flies and beetles and emit a special, foul smelling odor.
The genus epithet “Stapelia" was named in honour of Johannes van Stapel, who published drawings and descriptions of the first Stapeliae discovered. The species name derives from the Latin adjective “hirsutus” meaning “rough, shaggy, bristly”, so the specific name implies: “hairy”.
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Photo credit: ©Martin Heigan
Locality: Western Cape, South Africa