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Ceropegia linearis (String of Needles)

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Scientific Name

Ceropegia linearis E. Mey.

Common Names

String of Needles

Synonyms

Ceropegia linearis subsp. linearis, Ceropegia caffrorum

Scientific Classification

Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Genus: Ceropegia

Description

Ceropegia linearis is a semi-succulent climbing plant that produces a cluster of slender stems, up to 6.6 feet (2 m) long, from a tuberous rootstock that grows up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter. Flowers are in shades of white to pale magenta, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long, usually appear in late summer to early fall, and last up to 6 weeks.

Photo via wikipedia.org

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 11a to 11b: from 40 °F (+4.4 °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 delicate 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 linearis is native to South Africa.

Subspecies and Forms

Links

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