|Stapelia is a
genus in the Asclepiadaceae family. There are approximately 100 species in
the genus. Stapelias have the common name of starfish flowers or carrion
plants. They were given these names because of their star-shape and the flowers
revolting odour. The angular stems are green to brown in colour and bear vestigial
leaves along the ribs for a short while. Flowers appear in summer and are yellow to
maroon in colour.
The genus Stapelia was set up in 1737 by Linnaeus who derived the name from Johannes van Stapel, a 17th century physician and botanist.