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Frerea indica (Indian Frerea)

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Scientific Name

Frerea indica Dalzell

Common Names

Indian Frerea

Synonyms

Caralluma frerea, Desmidorchis dalzellii

Scientific Classification

Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Tribe: Ceropegieae 
Subtribe: Stapeliinae
Genus: Frerea

Description

Frerea indica is a succulent with fleshy, up to 20 inches (50 cm) long branches with elliptic-oblong, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long leaves. The leaves grow during the monsoon season. In habitat, unusual compared to its close relatives, it drops the leaves during dry seasons to conserve moisture. The crimson to cherry-red flowers are star-shaped with yellow markings and appear in summer.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b: from 35 °F (+1.7 °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. Stapeliads require a reasonable amount of sunlight to promote flowering and maintain a well-shaped plant. Very shady positions will produce very poor flowering.

These plants come from climates where they survive extremely high temperatures in the summer months, so most growth is in spring and fall, with flowering in fall when the weather starts to cool down. In the growing season, water in moderation when needed making sure soil is fairly dried out between waterings. Do not water between late fall and early spring.

The easiest and best way to propagate Stapeliads is from stem cuttings, which can be taken virtually throughout the year. Stapeliads can also be propagated by seeds.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Stapeliads.

Origin

Native to the Junnar hill forest in the Western Ghats in Maharashtra state in India.

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