- any of various plants of the genus Stapelia, of the milkweed family, native to southern Africa, having short, fleshy, leafless stems, and flowers that are oddly colored or mottled and in most species emit a fetid, carrionlike odor.
Origin of stapelia
1775–85; < New Latin, after J. B. van Stapel (died 1636), Dutch botanist; see -ia
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- any fleshy cactus-like leafless African plant of the asclepiadaceous genus Stapelia, having thick four-angled stems and large typically fetid mottled flowers
Word Origin for stapelia
C18: from New Latin, named after J. B. van Stapel, (died 1636), Dutch botanist
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012