from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A name given to various plants the flowers of which have an offensive carrion-like odor, especially to species of the genus Stapelia and to Smilax herbacea.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
"Marriage is that!" said he to a friend, -- and held up a carrion-flower.
Strange that so close an observer as Burroughs or Thoreau should not have credited the carrion-flower with being something more intelligent than a mere repellent freak!
The flesh-fly laying its eggs on the carrion-flower is only a striking instance of the mistakes all instincts are liable to, never more markedly than in the inherited tendency to fits of frenzied excitement: the feeling is frequently excited by the wrong object, and explodes at inopportune moments.
Smilax herbacea (carrion-flower), not uncommon both years.
So the putrid smell of the stapelia, or carrion-flower, allures the large flesh-fly to deposit its young worms on its beautiful petals, which perish there for want of nourishment.