Stapelia leendertziae is the subject of today's post. The terms that are associated with it and captured my attention are:
This flower is sapromyiophilous:
sapro (putrid) + muia (fly) + philos (loving) i.e. pollinated by flies found on decomposing meat etc.
Since they need dung and carrion flies to pollinate them, the conspicuously sized flowers are red or purple mimicking their pollinators' the food and brood sites. (This evolution is called convergent since various plants from completely different families have evolved this trait independently)
This brings to our next word, rugose. The liver-colored flowers are velvety and rugose i.e. wrinkled.
Of the 31 compounds that they emit, dimethyl disulphide and dimethyl trisulphide are two that make the flowers seem like a buffet to the pollinators whose favorite happens to be dead rats!
Any other ol' flower would have thought smelling like rotten meat would get the job done. Stapelia, however, is considerate enough to keep things specific. (For a host of other smells - from dog poo to horse dung - emanating from other stapeliads, check out this article.)
The next word is corolla and it is what the petals are called collectively. Ever wonder the meaning behind Toyota's different models? This article tells us the reasoning behind naming one after a part of a flower.
This corolla is campanulate (bell-shaped) hence it being given the common name bell-stapelia by The Flora of Zimbabwe.The other less-endearing name is Leendertzi's carrion-flower.
Stapelia sp. can be grown as a potted plant. Since its verdant succulent stems hug the ground, it is difficult to find them in the wild unless it is in full flower. BPotD recommends, "follow the flies--and hope that you are heading towards a Staperlia leendertziae rather than a dead rat".
I tried finding a picture that would give people an idea of the size of the flower but this was the best I could come up with.
I'll end this post with a video of confused goats who either think they are birds or think of themselves as fruits.
#BPotD #Botany #MostlyBotany #GoatWatch #BotanyandVocab