I photographed this flower the other day in the South Africa section of the U.C. Berkeley Botanical Garden.
It is a ferraria crispa, a member of the Iris genus. As Solitaire on Flickr put it, “leopard skin bloom, and it’s a ferrari? I want one!”
Turns out that this is a rare flower whose bloom only lasts for a day. According to the information on the website of the Fernkloof Nature Reserve near Capetown, the flower also smells of carion.
I didn’t smell anything. But it just goes to show: is that leopard-skinned Ferrari really worth it if it smells of dead meat?