Stapelia gigantea is a species of flowering plant in the genus Stapelia of the family Apocynaceae. Common names include Zulu giant, carrion plant and toad plant. The plant is native to the desert regions of South Africa to Tanzania.
Stapelia gigantea, commonly called carrion flower, is a spine-free succulent member of the milkweed (not cactus) family that is native to dry desert areas from Tanzania to South Africa. Common name comes from the malodorus flower aroma which resembles the smell of rotting meat. The focal point of this plant is the fleshy, 5-pointed, star-shaped flowers (to 10-16" across), each being pale ochre-yellow with thin transverse maroon lines. This is one of the largest flowers in the plant world. Flowers bloom in fall (flower buds are triggered by shortened daylight hours in fall). Spineless, 4-angled, succulent stems grow upright to 8-12" tall before scrambling sideways with the tips still erect. Plants in the ground may grow to 24" wide.