Stapelia gigantea N.E. Br.

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Stapelia gigantea

Photo: Bart Wursten
Shashe Wilderness Camp, Shashe River

Stapelia gigantea

Photo: Bart Wursten
Shashe Wilderness Camp, Shashe River

Stapelia gigantea

Photo: Bart Wursten
Shashe Wilderness Camp, Shashe River

Stapelia gigantea

Photo: Bart Wursten
Shashe Wilderness Camp, Shashe River

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Stapelia marlothii N.E. Br.
Stapelia nobilis N.E. Br. ex Hook.
Stapelia youngii N.E. Br.
Common names:
Status: Native
Somewhat straggling succulent perennial. Stems 4-angled, more or less erect, up to 25 cm tall, pubescent, not prominently tuberculate. Leaves 2-3 mm, pubescent, acute with obscure stipular glands. Flowers opening in succession on a short, densely pubescent peduncle from the base of the stem. Corolla flat and wheel-shaped 12-40 cm in diameter, deeply lobed, limb flat or somewhat cup-shaped. Lobes ovate-acuminate with 3 prominent main veins on the outside; inside buff to reddish, finely wrinkled with transverse red-brown to purple lines, weakly hairy; margins ciliate with longer hairs. Corona dark purple, outer lobes erect-spreading, oblong to subspathulate, 5-6 × 1.5-2.5 mm; inner lobes, 8-12 × 1-2 mm, sometimes concealing the anthers.
Derivation of specific name: gigantea: gigantic, huge, referring to the very large flowers
Habitat: In a variety of habitats, often in rocky areas on wooded hillsides
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, eastern South Africa, Swaziland, southern Tanzania, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,E,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status: Data deficient
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Tuesday 6 May 2008

Bandeira, S., Bolnick, D. & Barbosa, F. (2007). Wild Flowers of Southern Mozambique Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique Page 119. (Includes a picture).

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 104 - 105. (Includes a picture).

Binns, B. (1968). A First Check List of the Herbaceous Flora of Malawi The Government Printer, Zomba, Malawi Page 22. also as Stapelia nobilis

Kirby, G. (2013). Wild Flowers of Southeast Botswana Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 371. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 29.


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Other sources of information about Stapelia gigantea:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Stapelia gigantea
Flora of Malawi: Stapelia gigantea
Flora of Mozambique: Stapelia gigantea
Flora of Zambia: Stapelia gigantea
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Stapelia gigantea

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Stapelia gigantea
African Plant Database: Stapelia gigantea
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Stapelia gigantea
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Stapelia gigantea
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Stapelia gigantea
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Stapelia gigantea
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Stapelia gigantea
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Stapelia gigantea
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Stapelia gigantea
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Stapelia gigantea
Ispot Southern Africa: Stapelia gigantea
JSTOR Plant Science: Stapelia gigantea
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Stapelia gigantea
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Stapelia gigantea
The Plant List (version 1.1): Stapelia gigantea
Tropicos: Stapelia gigantea

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-17

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2017). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Stapelia gigantea., retrieved 24 January 2017

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