A soft stemmed succulent which over time forms big clumps. Sprawling, clustering stems are long, toothed, and coloured apple green to grey-green. If grown in the sun, stems are mottled with purple. Flowers are large and starfish shaped, greenish-yellow and patterned with chocolate, purple or bronze blotches. Petals are lined with clubshaped hairs that flutter in the breeze.
This is an easy plant to grow and is free flowering if planted in direct sun. Takes a position of light shade to full sun but also tolerates shade well. If you grow it indoors, give as much light as possible and good ventilation. Likes to be watered regularly in its growing season but kept dry over winter.
Native to South Africa, this is an attractive, interesting plant in the Milkweed genus, and the most common in cultivation. It is a highly variable species, and no two plants will look the same. It also has the tendency to hybridise with other Orbeas and Stapelias, leading to some confusion, and is sometimes still called its earlier name, Stapelia Variegata. One difference from Stapelias is its famous carrion scent (which attracts pollinators) is not as heavy as with Stapelias. Common names include: Carrion cactus, Toad Cactus, Toad Plant, Starfish Cactus, Starfish Plant.