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Southwest Life Health And the West is History Community Travel

Durango woman’s starfish cactus reveals a stinky surprise

Durangoan MaryLou Brewer's starfish cactus has bloomed with the smell of rotting meat. (Courtesy of David Johnson)

At first, Durango MaryLou Brewer thought the nasty smell in her house was from a rodent that had fallen victim to her cat and she said she moved her furniture in a attempt to find the poor thing’s remains. Turns out, it was actually her starfish cactus in bloom. The cactus (Stapelia grandiflora) is also known as a carrion flower.

According to gardeningknowhow.com, the plant may produce large, five-petaled flowers that exude an unpleasant odor. The scent attracts flies and other insects, which pollinate the blooms. The insects are drawn to the carrion stench and sit mesmerized on the flower unable to move.

Kind of gross and creepy – perfect for this Halloween season, Brewer said.

katie@durangoherald.com