Stapelia leendertziae, commonly known in Afrikaans as aaskelk (carrion chalice), is a clump-forming stem succulent.
Its erect stems, decumbent at the base, reach 10 cm in height and 1,2 cm in diameter. The velvety hairy, four-angled stems are slightly concave between the toothed stem ridges. The tubercular stem teeth are each tipped with a rudimentary leaf, more seen on young stems as they tend to drop off.
The striking but stinking flowers of S. leendertziae grow solitary or in pairs, emerging from the mid-section of a stem, hanging down where space allows. Stems tend to branch near the point where a flower stalk is attached. In bud, the pale reddish purple, finely hairy outside surface of the corolla has pointed protrusions where the lobes meet, the dips or sinuses in the corolla margin.
The open flower has a cup-shaped corolla that is brownish purple to maroon on the inside, its surface transversely wrinkled. The corolla tube becomes 7 cm long and up to 10 cm wide at the mouth. The lobes of the corolla taper and attenuate to acutely pointed tips, a lobe being about 6 cm long. There is a small outer and inner corona in the cup base of the corolla, both dark coloured and small lobed.
A pair of parallel follicles are produced from each successful flower. The follicles are cylindrical and tapering, about 14 cm long and mottled purple or green on their finely hairy surfaces.
The species distribution is in KwaZulu-Natal and the provinces north of the Vaal River, as well as in some neighbouring countries. The plants grow in grassland in shallow soils on rocky slopes. The species is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century.
This plant was first introduced to the botanical community when Miss R. Leendertz discovered it in 1909 near Heidelberg in the then Transvaal (White and Sloane, 1937; http://pza.sanbi.org; www.redlist.sanbi.org).