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Ceropegia cimiciodora


Scientific Name

Ceropegia cimiciodora Oberm.

Scientific Classification

Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Genus: Ceropegia


Ceropegia cimiciodora is a succulent climber with thick, mottled twining stems that grow up to 3.3 feet (1 m) long. Rudimentary, ephemeral leaves are produced on widely spaced nodes on the stems. Although of unattractive habit, the flowers are rather striking. The corolla is mottled grey and speckled with purple-maroon. The top of the flowers is an open star-shape, and the petals are ciliate on the edges.

The specific epithet "cimiciodora" means that its flowers smell like the bed bug Cimex lectularius.


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

Ceropegia cimiciodora

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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 watering care 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. See more at How to Grow and Care for Ceropegia.


Ceropegia cimiciodora is native to South Africa, Swaziland, and Zululand.


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