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I received these plants as a present. The one I’m curious about is a tall slender plant that is green with purple-ish tips. I would really like to know what it is, and it is very important to know if it is poisonous to cats.


Drought Smart Plants reply: this is some type of Stapelia, the Carrion Plant. You’ll know why they go by that common name when it blooms, as the flowers smell and resemble nothing so much as dead meat! The flowers are usually interesting, and with age, there can be a lot of them opening in sequence.

Keep this plant fairly dry in the winter, and resume watering through the summer. It will most likely need a heavy pot, as the top growth tends to be quite thick and meaty, and can topple the plant over if the pot isn’t weighty.

They like to be fairly rootbound, and will bloom faster if they are in a pot that is a little on the small side.

See more about Stapelia here.

These three links open in a new window, on Dave’s Garden Website:

Stapelia gigantea

Stapelia grandiflora

Stapelia hirsuta

As for it being poisonous, I really couldn’t determine if it is or not based on my research. However, as it has the tiny thorns, I would be surprised if any cat would take more than one bite of it.

If you’re at all concerned, find some old bird cages at the thrift store and use those to protect the plant and the cat from each other.

Happy Succulent Growing!