When Plants Smell Bad – Brachystelma barberae

Some of our plants bloom what are known as carrion flowers. Rather than sweet smelling, colorful blooms, these flowers have unique shapes and scents mimicing rotting meat to attracts flies, their primary pollinator. Pseduolithos eylensis has a bizarre bloom with a smell like fresh manure while specimens in the Hoodia genus are also known for producing a rank smell.

But if you’re looking for the most offensive flower in our nursery, you need to set your sights on Brachystelma barberae. Found in the wilds of South Africa, this tuberous plant is famous for its bizarre, cage-like flower which emits a potent stench, piercing and acidic. Collectors, you don’t want this one indoors when it blooms, trust us.

With almost an entire bench dedicated to these South African rarities, we’ve had the opportunity to catch them in various stages of bloom. Check out this photo sequence to see these Brachystelma barberae go from inception to in-stench-tion. Interested in one for your collection? Contact us.

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