Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Random plant events: Huernia schneideriana (?), Huernia zebrina, and Stapelia variegata

Originally, this post was just supposed to be about the Huernia schneideriana, because I saw that it had produced some buds on 18 July.

And they opened on 23 July, the first time I'd seen the flowers in-person, which was neat.

(This photo is actually from 27 July, but it's the same flower that opened on the 23rd. Should also note that the flower is actually very small: maybe 3/4 inch, or 2 cm, in diameter.)

But then two days after that, on the 25th, I happened to see that the Stapelia variegata had produced a flower without me even noticing the bud.

This flower is about 2 inches / 5 cm in diameter.

And two days after that, on 27 July, I saw that the Huernia zebrina had also produced a bunch of buds, one of which had fully opened by that afternoon.

Maybe 1 in / 2.5 cm in diameter.

So instead of a post about a single stapeliad flower, you get a post about three of them. And they cover a range of color patterns: solid, dots, stripes. So it's clearly a good thing that I couldn't write this post when I first thought of it.

As a side note: the flowering of the H. schneideriana means that all four of my stapeliads have now bloomed, so I can compare their smells. S. variegata is definitely, absolutely, no question about it, the worst-smelling. I haven't been able to smell anything, good or bad, from either of the Huernias, even checking multiple times over the course of a day. S. gigantea definitely has an unpleasant smell, but it's not so intense as to be particularly bothersome, if it's only one flower at a time. Putting the S. variegata next to the door we use all the time was a mistake, though.


Paul said...

I find that H. schneideriana's odor is not that pungent. I pretty much have to have my nose just about touching the flower to catch a whiff. Definitely a fecal odor.

So has Sheba shown an interest in the S. variegata? Considering dogs' fascination with things that stink, it wouldn't surprise me if she did.

mr_subjunctive said...


Sheba hasn't shown any interest that I've noticed, but we haven't made a point of presenting her with the flower either. (We did do that with S. gigantea, and she found it interesting enough to sniff for a long time, but that was about it.)

Liza said...

Those flowers are so cool!

Tom said...

Huernias are so odd... I still find it hard to believe that a flower could ever really look like that.