Orbea wissmannii (O.Schwartz) Bruyns
Caralluma wissmannii, Angolluma wissmannii, Pachycymbium wissmannii
Orbea wissmanii is a low-growing succulent with erect or ascending, green dappled stems. It spreads over the ground forming large crowded cushions up to 3.3 feet (1 m) across. Stems are 4-angled, soft-toothed, and up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long. Flowers are fleshy 5-pointed stars, up to 10 inches (25 cm) across, 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 their 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
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