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Huernia aspera

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Scientific Name

Huernia aspera N.E.Br.

Synonyms

Ceropegia aspera

Scientific Classification

Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Tribe: Stapeliae
Genus: Huernia

Description

Huernia aspera is a small succulent with creeping stems and tiny, dark purple, bell-shaped flowers. The stems are sparsely branched, glabrous, glossy, up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall, up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) across, mid-green with tips of gold and pink, and 4- to 6-angled with small, blunt, spreading somewhat rigid teeth. The flowers are up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter.

Photo via llifle.com

Hardiness

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

How to Grow and Care

Huernias require a potting mix with excellent drainage. A succulent plant mix of 50 percent pumice or perlite, 25 percent peat or organic mulch, and 25 percent sand helps prevent rotting and overwatering. Roots experience dieback in cool-season dormancy, so plants grow best in shallow containers that allow the soil to dry out quickly. Using clay pots further helps the soil from staying too wet. An underlayment of coarse gravel below the soil mix also improves drainage. In climates with damp, cool summers, a layer of gravel between the plant and the soil mix also helps prevent the stems from staying too moist.

Outdoor plantings do well in raised beds. Huernias prefer bright light or partial shade. In nature, they grow underneath shrubs or other plants. Too much sun causes stems to develop protective reddish or purple pigmentation and can scald the stems. Too little light leads to weak, thin growth with decreased flower production. These plants grow best between 50 and 80 °F (10 and 27 °C). Protect them from freezing weather. See more at How to Grow and Care for Huernia.

Origin

Huernia aspera is native to Kenya, Tanzania, and Malawi.

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