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Orbea namaquensis (Namaqua Orbea)


Scientific Name

Orbea namaquensis (N.E.Br.) L.C.Leach

Common Names

Namaqua Orbea


Stapelia namaquensis, Ceropegia namaquana

Scientific Classification

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


Orbea namaquensis is a leafless perennial, clumping or mat-forming succulent up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) tall. The short stems are sometimes almost cylindrical, up to 0.7 inch (1.8 cm) thick, excluding the teeth, shortly prostrate and then decumbent, 4-angled, green and prettily marked with irregular purple stripes where exposed to the sun. The flowers are produced in succession on lower stem, pale greenish yellow, irregularly marked with dark purple-brown and up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.

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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


It is native to South Africa.


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