by vic


I recieved small pieces of this plant, from a friend, a few weeks ago. She was unsure what it was. It is obviously a fast grower.

I thought it was a Rattail Cactus at first. But, now I am uncertain of that. Due to all the new sprouts in every direction. And, I was under the impression that the Rattail do not have sprouts like this.

I’d love to identify this plant.

Hi Vic, this is without a doubt Huernia, which is also known as Carrion Flower.

They’re interesting plants, although they look ferocious, with thorns all over, they’re actually soft and not vicious at all. It’s all a protective strategy to mimic something that will hurt to eat it, so animals will leave it alone.

Their other fascinating trait is the gorgeous blood red flowers, with the delightful odor of rotting meat – seriously! This is to attract the flies that will pollinate it, and make seeds for the next generation.

They’re closely related to another plant also called Carrion Flower, the Stapelia and at one time they were all lumped together under that name.

These are easy care plants, and don’t mind either being root bound or underwatered, although they prefer adequate water in the spring, when they normally put on their growth and produce the flowers.

Happy Succulent Growing!

Comments for please help identify

Jan 05, 2015
alaska succulent
by: heather

My grandmother grew this in Texas and i got a few pieces from her. Several times i almost froze it but have found it loves shallow pots in north facing window. We have wood heat which seems to make it happy.

Its a slow grower but over the years it takes up a 6 foot windowsill and blooms year round. Its my Mema cactus. I like the name carion flower but it doesn’t smell at all. Wish i knew how to post a photo.

Jan 05, 2015
by: Jacki

I would love to see a picture or two of your plant, Heather. You could add them to this page if you like, then I’ll move it to where it fits.