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carrion flower

noun
1.
any of several North American climbing plants of the genus Smilax, especially S. herbacea, having small white flowers with an odor of carrion.
2.
Also called starfish flower. any of various succulent plants of the genus Stapelia, of southern Africa, having spotted or variegated flowers often with a fetid odor.
Origin
1830-1840
1830-40, Americanism
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for carrion flower

carrion flower

noun
1.
a liliaceous climbing plant, Smilax herbacea of E North America, whose small green flowers smell like decaying flesh
2.
any of several other plants, esp any of the genus Stapelia, whose flowers have an unpleasant odour
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for carrion flower

any of about 75 species of succulent plants of the genus Stapelia of the milkweed family (Apocynaceae), native to tropical areas of southern Africa. They are named for the unpleasant odour of their large flowers. The carrion odour attracts flies, which pollinate the plants and lay their eggs there. Carrion flowers have thick, four-sided, grooved stems, often coloured or covered with outgrowths. The plants lack true leaves but have scales or spines. The flowers have purple, red, or yellow bars and markings. A few species are cultivated as ornamentals.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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