Orbea lugardii (N.E.Br.) Bruyns
Pachycymbium lugardii, Caralluma lugardii, Angolluma lugardii, Ceropegia lugardianai
Orbea lugardii is a succulent plant with up to 6 inches (15 cm) long stems, often forming several clumps connected by horizontal rhizomes. The inflorescences, 2 to 6 per stem, are situated towards the apex. Flowers, mostly 1 to 3 per inflorescence, sometimes more, open in succession or simultaneously. The corolla is up to 1.8 inches (4.5 cm) in diameter, very deeply and narrowly lobed, smooth and pale green outside, finely papillate and variably colored, usually with lobes paler than the center, yellow-green, yellow, red, or brown with center red or brown. The corona is deeply bifid and red to purple-brown.
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 water withdrawal during the winter months. A minimum winter temperature of 10°C (50°F) is acceptable, providing that plants are kept dry. A heated growing bench or incubator may help delicate plants to get through the colder months. However, many species live under shrubs in their 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 mineral-only compost to minimize the chance of a fungal attack on the roots. A layer of grit on the compost surface prevents moisture from accumulating around the base of the stems.
Keeping Stapelias and their roots free of pests such as mealybugs is the real key to success as fungal attack often occurs due to damage to stems by insects.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Stapelia.
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