Huernia oculata Hook.f.
Ceropegia oculatoides, Huernia rogersii
Huernia oculata is a small succulent that forms clumps of glabrous, erect to somewhat sprawling stems with five ribs lined with stout bristle-pointed teeth. The stems grow up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall and up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) across, excluding teeth.
The unusual velvety flowers are up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) across and appear several together, opening successively from late summer to early fall. The 5-lobed corolla is blackish-purple or brownish-black, with a pure white center. Fruits are paired follicles with numerous, strongly compressed seeds with a tuft of silky hairs.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (-1.1 °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 prevent the soil from staying too wet. An underlayment of coarse gravel below the soil mix also improves drainage. A layer of gravel between the plant and the soil mix in climates with damp, cool summers 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 actually 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.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Huernia.
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