from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of various plants of the genus Stapelia, including the starfish flower.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Any of the genus Stapelia of low-growing succulent plants, predominantly from South Africa, and often giving off an odour of rotten flesh.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An extensive and curious genus of African plants of the natural order Asclepiadaceæ (Milkweed family). They are succulent plants without leaves, frequently covered with dark tubercles giving them a very grotesque appearance. The odor of the blossoms is like that of carrion.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A genus of gamopetalous plants, of the order Asclepiadaceæ, type of the tribe Stapelieæ.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. any of various plants of the genus Stapelia having succulent leafless toothed stems resembling cacti and large foul-smelling (often star-shaped) flowers
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.
Last week, he waited with the breathless anticipation of an expectant father as his South African stapelia started to flower.