Larryleachia cactiformis (Hook.) Plowes
Hoodia cactiformis, Hoodia similis, Larryleachia similis, Lavrania cactiformis, Leachia cactiformis, Leachia similis, Leachiella cactiformis, Leachiella similis, Stapelia cactiformis, Stapelia clavata, Trichocaulon cactiforme, Trichocaulon cactiformis, Trichocaulon clavatum, Trichocaulon simile
Larryleachia cactiformis grows in the shape of a small cactus with no leaves, spines, or branches but ribbed with mammaillae on 4 to 6 sided protrusions. It is grayish-green in color and starts spherical, then grows into a short cylindrical stem up to 6 inches (15 cm) high, and sometimes taller in captivity. The flowers grow from 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) peduncles from the top and are 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter when open. The corolla is pale yellow, fleshy, five-pointed, shriveled on the inside and decorated with dark red spots and lighter red tips. The seeds are flat and brown.
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. They require a reasonable amount of sunlight to promote flowering and maintain a well-shaped plant. Very shady positions will produce very poor flowering. Stapeliads come from climates where they survive extremely high temperatures in the summer months, so most growth is in spring and autumn, with flowering in autumn when the weather starts to cool down.
The easiest and best way to propagate Stapeliads is from stem cuttings, which can be taken virtually throughout the year. Using the seeds is also a method of propagation Stapeliads. They all need extra good drainage. Stapeliads are shallow-rooted, and a collection of them can be planted up nicely in a wide, shallow bowl. When planting, it is a good idea to allow the roots to be buried in soil and then put pure gravel or sand around the base of the plant to prevent rot. See more at How to Grow and Care for Stapeliads.
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