Piaranthus geminatus (Masson) N.E. Br.
Caralluma geminata, Ceropegia geminata, Stapelia geminata
This species is native to South Africa. It occurs from Calvinia in Northern Cape, through Montagu and Oudtshoorn in Western Cape to Eastern Cape, growing on gravelly and loamy flats under bushes.
Piaranthus geminatus is a dwarf succulent with leafless, pale to dark grey-green, tuberculate stems that spread over the ground forming a dense mat. The stems are 4- or 5-angled, branched, usually between 0.8 to 2 inches (2 to 5 cm), sometimes up to 6 inches (15 cm) long, and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. Flowers are star-shaped, up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) across, and appear in clusters of up to 5, opening together at branch tips in fall. The corolla is white, yellow, yellow-green, or brown, transversely marked with red to brown, rarely uniformly yellow or red-brown. The corona is yellow, sometimes spotted with red. Fruits are paired follicles that grow up to 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) long.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Stapeliads are relatively easy to grow. However, they should be treated as outdoor plants as they easily rot indoors and cannot flower without exposure to outdoor temperature fluctuations. In addition, they should be grown under cover, so watering can be controlled. Stapeliads require a reasonable amount of sunlight to promote flowering and maintain a well-shaped plant. Very shady positions will produce very poor flowering.
These plants come from climates where they survive extremely high temperatures in the summer months, so most growth is in spring and fall, with flowering in fall when the weather starts to cool down. In the growing season, water in moderation when needed, making sure soil is fairly dried out between waterings. Do not water between late fall and early spring.
The easiest and best way to propagate Stapeliads is from stem cuttings, which can be taken virtually throughout the year. Using seeds is also a method of propagation.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Stapeliads.
Subspecies and Varieties
- Back to genus Piaranthus
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