Orbea schweinfurthii (A.Berger) Bruyns
Angolluma schweinfurthii, Caralluma schweinfurthii, Ceropegia schweinfurthii, Pachycymbium schweinfurthii
Orbea schweinfurthii is a mat-forming succulent with slender, branching stems with widely spaced tubercles ending in a conical tooth. The stems are prostrate to ascending, reaching up to 6 inches (15 cm) in length. The tubercles are spreading to slightly ascending, measure up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long, and are arranged more or less into four rows along the stem.
The flowers are star-shaped, densely papillate, deep yellow corolla with dark maroon spots inside and pale yellow to cream corona speckled with purple. They are about 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) in diameter and appear in summer and fall.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °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 50 °F (10 °C) is acceptable, providing plants are kept absolutely dry. A heated growing bench or incubator may help delicate plants 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 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 key to success, as fungal attacks often result from damage to stems by an insect.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Stapelia.
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