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Orbea lutea subsp. vaga

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Scientific Name

Orbea lutea subsp. vaga (N.E.Br.) Bruyns

Synonyms

Stapelia vaga, Orbeopsis lutea subsp. vaga, Caralluma vaga, Caralluma lutea subsp. vaga

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Orbea lutea subsp. vaga is a succulent perennial with green (in full sun are mottled maroon to purple), 4-angled, up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall and usually erect stems. The stems form prominent angles with acute teeth. Flowers are mostly maroon, sometime variegated red and yellow. The fruit is a single or paired, spindle-shaped follicle up to 3.6 inches (9 cm) long.

Photo via lequyuanyi.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 9b to 10b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °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  50 °F (10 °C) 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 mealybugs 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 lutea subsp. vaga is native to South Africa and Angola.

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