carrion flower cactus : I smell dead things...

I went thrifting with my friend Catherine the other day in Morongo Valley, and bought a whole mess of crap. The dumbest thing I bought was probably a massive floor-to-ceiling macrame hanging lamp - it's truly hideous, but it's my sarcastic tipping of the hat to the new macrame trend I've been seeing everywhere. I got it at a strange little store tucked behind a house, where there was also quite a collection of cacti for sale. And not for sale - all the cool ones had "sold" stickers on them, which I figured out was the proprietors way of keeping them. When we first walked in, he said to Catherine, "I'll give ya ten bucks if ya sit on oneof em!", gesturing to a huge coffee table full of prickly phallic plants. She's British, and only responded with a shocked "OOOOooooH!"

  One of my finds - a pair of big heavy ashtrays hanging from a chain. Ah, the good old days.... I'm going to use them as planters instead. The macrame beast has yet to be hung - stay tuned...

  One of my finds - a pair of big heavy ashtrays hanging from a chain. Ah, the good old days.... I'm going to use them as planters instead. The macrame beast has yet to be hung - stay tuned...

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On our way out, I spotted a "sold" plant with an eye catching flower, and recognized it as a carrion flower, which I've only read about. This kind is actually a succulent, native to Africa, and it's flowers look and smell like the rotting corpse of an animal in order to attract flies for pollination (some carnivorous species attract them for food). I got all excited, because I thought these were really rare (I was thinking of a massive species at Huntington Gardens in Pasadena, which is news-worthy when it's 5 foot corpse flower blooms every few years). Like an idiot, I stuck my nose right up to it and took a big whiff.... dead animal smell, alright. I was sick to my stomach for over an hour. The guy said he would give me a cutting next time I visit (probably only if I buy more macrame fails).

On Aug. 23, 2014, a rare Amorphophallus titanum or Titan Arum (a.k.a. the "Corpse Flower") bloomed at The Huntington in Pasadena, CA. It's 5th blooming since 1999.

On Aug. 23, 2014, a rare Amorphophallus titanum or Titan Arum (a.k.a. the "Corpse Flower") bloomed at The Huntington in Pasadena, CA. It's 5th blooming since 1999.