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Orbea semota subsp. orientalis

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Scientific Name

Orbea semota subsp. orientalis Bruyns

Synonyms

Orbea orientalis, Ceropegia semota subsp. orientalis

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Orbea semota subsp. orientalis is a much-branched succulent, up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall, that forms small mats. It is distinguished from Orbea semota by its smaller, solid brown flowers and slightly less boldly, toothed stems. Stems are fleshy, erect or procumbent, up to 0.7 inches (1.8 cm) across excluding teeth. Flowers are borne singly or several together, from any part of the stem. They are star-shaped and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter.

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Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 11a to 11b: from 40 °F (+4.4 °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 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 a fungal attack on the roots. A layer of grit on the surface of the compost prevents moisture from accumulating around the base of 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

It is native to Kenya and Tanzania.

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