Caralluma adscendens (Roxb.) R.Br.
Caralluma adscendens is a succulent shrub with erect, 4-angled branches that grow up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall. The branches are fleshy, green, leafless, and taper to a point. Leaves are minute, present only on young branches, soon falling off, leaving a tooth-like projection on the angles. Flowers are borne at the end of branches, solitary or 2 to 3 together on short stalks. They are wheels-like and up to 1 inch 2.5 cm) across. Petals are narrow, purple with yellow marking, and margins frilly with hairs. Fruits are cylindrical, up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) long, with one of the pairs often suppressed.
USDA hardiness zone 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Stapeliads are relatively easy to grow. They should be treated as an outdoor plant as they will easily rot indoors and cannot flower without exposure to outdoor temperature fluctuations. They should be grown under cover so that watering can be controlled. They require a reasonable amount of sunlight to promote flowering and maintain a well-shaped plant. Very shady positions will produce very poor flowering. Stapeliads come from climates where they survive extremely high temperatures in the summer months, so most growth is in spring and autumn, with flowering in autumn when the weather starts to cool down.
The easiest and best way to propagate Stapeliads is from stem cuttings, which can be taken virtually throughout the year. Using the seeds is also a method of propagation. They all need extra good drainage. Stapeliads are shallow-rooted, and a collection of them can be planted up nicely in a wide, shallow bowl. When planting, it is a good idea to allow the roots to be buried in soil and then put pure gravel or sand around the plant's base to prevent rot. See more at How to Grow and Care for Stapeliads.
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