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Ceropegia ampliata (Bushman's Pipe)

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Scientific Name

Ceropegia ampliata E.Mey.

Common Names

Bushman's Pipe, Condom Plant, Horny Wonder, Taper Vine

Synonyms

Ceropegia triebneri

Scientific Classification

Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Genus: Ceropegia

Description

Ceropegia ampliata is a succulent perennial with strange-looking flowers that appear in late summer. Stems are hairless, twining or scrambling and arise from a fleshy, tuberous rootstock. They occasionally branch at the nodes and can grow more than 6.6 feet (2 m) long. Leaves are tiny, lanceolate, or heart-shaped. Flowers are produced at each node, 2 to 4 together and open one after the other. They are pale green to white or white with green longitudinal stripes, tube-shaped, and up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) long.

Ceropegia ampliata (Bushman's Pipe)

Photo by HEN-Magonza

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b: from 35 °F (+1.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

A gritty compost is suitable, and clay pots help with drainage, especially for the species with white thickened roots, which are the most susceptible to rotting and for species forming large tubers. Ceropegias appreciate water and a little fertilizer during warm weather, although some care with watering is required for the more difficult species. The vine-like species can suffer from prolonged drought.

Typically, many of these species grow and climb naturally among bushes, which provide shade and humidity to the base, while the vegetative growth is in the light. Where tubers occur, they are best planted on the surface of the compost, and the vegetative growth allowed to twine around supports or trail down from a hanging pot. The latter mode of growth has the advantage of not using valuable bench space. Small tubers formed at joints in the thin stems of some species can be used for propagation. If the tuber rots or dries out, don't panic. As long as some of the top growth is still in reasonable condition, it may be possible to save the plant by re-rooting stems in damp gravel.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Ceropegia.

Origin

Ceropegia ampliata is native to South Africa. It is commonly found on dry, stony hillsides, twining in other vegetation.

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