Orbea wissmannii (O.Schwartz) Bruyns
Angolluma wissmannii, Caralluma wissmannii, Ceropegia wissmannii, Orbea wissmannii subsp. wissmannii, Pachycymbium wissmannii
Orbea wissmanii is a low-growing succulent with erect to ascending, 4-angled, gray-green stems often mottled with brown or purple. The fleshy stems are up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long and crowded in cushion-like masses up to 3.3 feet (1 m) across. The angles of the stems are lined with prominent conical tubercles.
Flowers are up to 10 inches (25 cm) across, deeply and narrowly lobed, and appear in late summer or fall. They are very variable in color, mostly brownish-red at the base and golden-yellow to bright-yellow towards the apex.
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 water withdrawal 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 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 compost surface 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 attacks often result from damage to stems by insects.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Stapelia.
Subspecies and Varieties
- Back to genus Orbea
- Succupedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
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