Dr. Hortfreud Discusses the Stapelia

Good evening, Carol. I see that your Stapelia finally bloomed.

Hi Dr. Hortfreud. Yes, the Stapelia started opening last Friday.

Do you like it, Carol?

Oh yes, Dr. H., it is very interesting, and it does smell like everyone said it would.

Yes, well, about that flower smelling, Carol. I noticed that you kept going back and smelling it, several times. On Friday, on Saturday, on Sunday, and again this evening. Did it always smell bad?

Oh gosh, yes. It smelled bad every time, and it still smells. But fortunately, the smell doesn't seem to spread beyond the flower.

Well, that's good, I suppose. What does it smell like?

It smells like rotting meat. It's actually disgusting!

So let us explore why you felt you had to keep smelling it.

I wanted to be sure it wasn't my imagination.


And it wasn't. It definitely smells.

Carol, don't you think it is a little odd how many times you smelled that flower.

All for botanical research purposes, Dr. Hortfreud!

So Carol, look in to the flower and tell me what you see.
I see flower parts.

I see. Now, how does it feel to have a flower like this in your house at night while you are sleeping?

I'll admit it feels a little creepy.

That's it, just a little creepy?

Yes, I think so.

Okay. Thank you, Carol. Our time is up for this session. Between now and our next visit, I'll be doing some research to verify my diagnosis, but I think your interest and attraction to this flower is symptomatic of a certified plant geek. Unfortunately, there is no cure, but we can discuss how to embrace this condition and live with it at our next session.

Thank you, Dr. Hortfreud, I think.


  1. Talk about a suspenseful post! I thought it might be a bit more serious of a diagnosis...like OSC or something...

  2. Leslie -- I assume "OSC" stands for Obsessive Smelling Compulsion? Well, it is a flower, so I had to smell it!

  3. Had to laugh at this! If I had one, I would be smelling it over and over too!

  4. I also thought you had OSC. Either that, or the smell of rotting meat has some good childhood association (e.g., scraping the roadkill off the street in front of the driveway with grandma, or something).

  5. HA, I had to laugh at MMD's diagnosis! That is a most beautiful flower, Carol! The close up shot looks like an interesting maze. Maybe the flies follow the lines trying to get to the smelly, to us anyway, center where all the goodness emanates.

  6. Yep, anyone who puts their nose close to this bloom more than once is definitely a bloom geek or plant freak. However you want to look at it. It is a gorgeous flower despite the smell. How long does the bloom last?

  7. Yes, only a plant geek would check out the smell of this flower more than once:) This plant reminds me of "The Little Shop of Horrors"--better not get too close to it, Carol:)

  8. I've been laughing at this conversation, very amusing! I haven't seen this flower in real life, but i can relate to the smell you are describing with the tropical flower of Amorphophalus campanulatus. It flowers after the first rains, and smells like that to attract flies for pollination. The flower is big about a foot in diameter and more for its height. It is a plant growing in the wild and i remember my father cuts them before they open so that people will not smell its foul odor. But i am excited and challenged to smell the one you posted.

  9. I've heard of flowers that smell bad, but now I've seen one. Don't think I really want to smell it personally.

    Really cute post.

  10. Well, I hope you work through it! This is a really creepy plant, but oddly compelling, too.

  11. Absolutely beautiful bloom, especially since we do not have smellovision just yet. I love the pattern in the center of the flower, a natural mandala.

  12. This flower looks like it was from a different planet.
    It must feel so special to have it blooming, i think i would get some CPG as well

  13. ^_^ I feel the same way. So interesting ballon shape buds and then it blooms so beautiful.


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