The genus was named after a Dutch physician, Jan Bode van Stapel († 1636) and consists of small perennial, normally pubescent, stem succulents. They have a wide distribution, being found in Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and in many of the Provinces of South Africa. Historically Stapelia embraced numerous species, most notably Orbea, which today have been placed in their own separate genera. The genus is well capable of hybridising not only within the genus but also makes cross genus hybrids with, Huernia, Orbea, Tavaresia, Tridentea and Tromotriche.
With four ribbed stems, spreading stems and hairy flowers this species from the Western Cape Province is closely related to S. gariepensis. CM0514 is from Calitzdorp Dam, on the road to Groenfontein, W.Cape
Found in the Eastern Cape this species is closely related to S. praetermissa and also shares many similarities with S. asterias. All three species have recently been subsumed by Peter Bruyns in his latest revision, into S. hirsuta in one or other of its varieties.
With delicately pubescent corolla lobes, this small species also comes from the Western Cape Province of South Africa. The plant pictured is from Swellendam.
Having rhizomatous stems and completely reflexed corolla lobes this species, from the Northern and Western Cape Provinces, was for a long time erroneously included in the genus Tromotriche.
This small flowered species from the Northern and Western Cape Provinces is nevertheless easily recognisable by its robust erect peduncles up to 12cm in length.
From Namibia, Botswana and the Northern Cape Province, this species has instantly recognisable flowers with lanceolate wrinkled corolla lobes. The plant pictured marked [Asc721] is from the Farm Aar, at Aus, Namibia.
With a wide distribution of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and the Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Northern and North-West Provinces this large flowered species is closely related to Stapelia hirsuta. Although S. gettliffei appears to be the most widely accepted spelling it also frequently appears as either S. gettleffei or S. gettlefii
As the name suggests the flowers of this species are amongst the largest in the genus. The species is variable and widely distributed within South Africa. The flowers can be anywhere between 8 and 22 cm in diameter.
As the name suggests, this variable large flowered species is restricted to the Free State and the Northern, Western And Eastern Cape Provinces of South Africa. Asc 415 was grown from seed IAS1469 as Stapelia ambigua which is now considered synonymous with S. grandiflora
Together with Stapelia gigantea and Orbea variegata, probably the most widely cultivated of stapeliads, this species is in nature limited to only the Western Cape Province of South Africa.