Larryleachia cactiformis (Hook.) Plowes
Ceropegia cactiformis, Hoodia cactiformis, Lavrania cactiformis, Leachia cactiformis, Leachiella cactiformis, Larryleachia cactiformis var. cactiformis, Stapelia cactiformis, Trichocaulon cactiformis
Larryleachia cactiformis is a small succulent with erect, cylindrical clavate, whitish to grey-green stems with flattened, rounded polygonal tubercles, each tipped with a small conical to flattened leaf-rudiment. The stems are thick and fleshy and grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall and 2.4 inches (6 cm) in diameter, often solitary or branching from the base to form a clump of up to 10 stems. Tubercles are crowded but arranged into 12 to 16 rows.
The flowers appear congregated near the apex, solitary or in clusters of 2 to 5, on very short pedicels. The corolla is bell-shaped, up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) in diameter, inside white to pale yellow barred (rarely spotted) with purple-red to more or less uniformly purple-red or maroon, covered with obtuse papillae, usually each with a small apical bristle. The corona is spotted and lined with red on a yellowish background.
Larryleachia cactiformis is native to South Africa. It occurs on stony, often north-facing slopes south of Eksteenfontein to Pofadder in the Northern Cape province.
USDA hardiness zone 9a to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Stapeliads are relatively easy to grow. However, they should be treated as an outdoor plants 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, ensuring the 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. Seed is also a method of propagation.
See more at: How to Grow and Care for Stapeliads.
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