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asclepiad, carrion flower, growing stapelia, huernia, lifesaver cactus, orbea, stapelia, stapelianthus, starfish cactus -

The Asclepiad family, including the genus Stapelia, have evolved some extraordinary adaptations to their arid, harsh environments.  Because these locales lack the resources to support bees, wasps, butterflies, and other typical pollinators, some members of this family have had to change their campaign to attract other pollinators: flies! Instead of a heavenly, floral scent, these flowers emit a carrion-like odor. Like a wine connoisseur, the different smells and degrees of odor can be identified by a trained nose...they range from "hot garbage" to "five day old corpse" to "dumptruck full of mothballs." In addition to their scents, they have special physical...

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bromeliad, bromeliads for sun, dyckia, earth star, mosquito proof bromeliad, succulent bromeliad, terrestrial bromeliad, waterwise bromeliad, xeriscape -

All across deserts from Texas to Brazil, xerophytic terrestrial bromeliads gleam in a rainbow of colors, defiantly contrasting the bleak desolation of their environment. Unlike their epiphytic cousins, terrestrial bromeliads have dug their roots into the earth, developed fierce spines, and formed thick, water-storing leaves to cope with their habitats. There are an astonishing amount of bromeliad species, but this article will focus on four genera; Dyckia, Hechtia, Orthophytum and Deuterocohnia. Terrestrial bromeliads are not true succulents; they do not contain water storage organs. They respond to dry periods with dormancy, and special cells called trichomes help shield them from...

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