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Orbea semota var. lutea (Yellow Orbea)


Scientific Name

Orbea semota var. lutea

Accepted Scientific Name

Orbea semota (N.E. Br.) L.C. Leach

Common names

Yellow Orbea

Scientific Classification

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


Orbea semota var. lutea is a much-branched succulent with erect or procumbent stems and brilliant yellow flowers fringed with simple hairs. The stems are yellowish-green, strongly-toothed, and up to 4 inches (10 cm) long. Flowers are up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter.

Orbea semota var. lutea (Yellow Orbea)

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USDA hardiness zones 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  50 °F (10 °C) 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 compost's surface 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 due to damage to stems by the insect.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Stapelia.


Orbea semota var. lutea is a yellow-flowering form of the variable Orbea semota, which has received several names over the years, now all amalgamated into O. semota.


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