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Orbea hardyi

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Scientific Name

Orbea hardyi (R.A.Dyer) Bruyns

Synonyms

Orbeanthus hardyi, Stultitia hardyi, Ceropegia hardyi

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Orbea hardyi is a creeping, perennial, stem succulent. Its worm-like stems are slightly 4-angled, pale green or grey to reddish, depending on the light, but all with purple mottling. The stems branch low down, becoming up to 12 inches (30 cm) long. Small, conical tubercles with tips that curve back are spaced along the stems. Flowering is in late summer, when 1 to 4 flowers are borne successively near the upper parts of the stems. The corolla tube is shallow-flattish with an annulus. The corolla lobes are yellowish to cream-colored, with numerous red markings and spots, becoming lighter towards the center.

Photo via pukubook.jp

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Several species are fairly easy to grow. Others, often those with slightly hairy stems and the more unusual flowers, are more challenging and require careful watering (with some fertilizer) during the growing season and complete withdrawal of water during the winter months. A minimum winter temperature of 10°C (50°F) is acceptable, providing that plants are kept absolutely dry. A heated growing bench or incubator may help delicate plants to get through the colder months. However, many species live under shrubs in habitat and prefer light shade rather than full sun.

A gritty compost is essential, and clay pots are advisable for the more delicate species. Some growers prefer a mineral-only compost to minimize the chance of fungal attack on the roots. A layer of grit on the surface of the compost prevents moisture from accumulating around the base of the stems.

Keeping Stapelias and their roots free of pests such as mealy bugs is the real key to success as fungal attack often occurs as a result of damage to stems by insects… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Stapelia

Origin

Orbea hardyi is native to South Africa.

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