Starfish cacti (Stapelia grandiflora) are also more morbidly called the carrion flower. These stinky, but spectacular, plants share similar traits to those from the carnivorous family in that they possess insect attracting flora (but are not carnivorous), which range in size from a couple of inches (5 cm.) high to plants that bear 12-inch (30 cm.) wide flowers. This plant species is native to South Africa, so growing starfish flowers usually requires warm, humid temperatures or a specialized greenhouse environment. Starfish Flower Cactus These plants aren’t exactly cactus, but are members of the succulent group of plants. They are soft stemmed plants without spines spreading out from a central point. They are thickly skinned and resemble carrion flesh. Starfish flower cactus may produce amazing five-petaled flowers that exude a rather unpleasant odor. The scent attracts flies and other insects, which pollinate the blooms. Flowers are red to brown and may be mottled with a couple of colors. Stapelia is the family name of the starfish flower cactus. The “gigantea” is the most commonly collected, as a showy specimen with foot wide flowers.