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Orbea wissmannii var. eremastrum


Scientific Name

Orbea wissmannii var. eremastrum (O.Schwartz) P.V.Bruyns


Angolluma eremastrum, Caralluma eremastrum, Pachycymbium eremastrum

Scientific Classification

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


Orbea wissmannii var. eremastrum is a low growing succulent with erect, 4-angled stems up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) tall. The stems are pale and dark green, dappled and soft-toothed. It spreads over the ground forming large, crowded cushions up to 3.3 feet (1 m) across. The flowers are 5-pointed, fleshy stars, up to 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter and produced in late summer or autumn. Corolla lobes are up to 0.8 inch (2 cm), mostly yellow, suffused with red (sometime flesh-colored) in proximal half, greenish-yellow to yellow towards tip.

Orbea wissmannii var. eremastrum

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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  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


Orbea wissmannii var. eremastrum is native to Saudi Arabia, Oman and Yemen.


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