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Pterodiscus speciosus

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Scientific Name

Pterodiscus speciosus Hook.

Synonyms

Harpagophyton pinnatifidum

Scientific Classification

Family: Pedaliaceae
Genus: Pterodiscus

Description

Pterodiscus speciosus is a perennial suffrutex with a tuberous caudex, underground in the wild, often raised in cultivation. The tuber is bright yellow, up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) in diameter and up to 20 inches (50 cm) tall. The stems are deciduous and generally die in winter when the plant is dormant. They are erect, slender, arising from the tuber and up to 10 inches (25 cm) tall. The flowers are tubular and bright red-purple, purplish-pink to yellowish pink in color.

Photo via flickr.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b: from 35 °F (+1.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Pterodiscus, Sesamothamnus, and Uncarina are all members of Sesame family. They are all still relatively uncommon succulents, in spite of the relative ease of growing many of them.

One reason that Uncarinas are not common in cultivation is that the seed does not germinate easily. Propagation by cuttings is not a substitute because they do not root easily either. In short, Uncarina is a difficult plant to propagate.

But, once you have managed to get yourself one, it is relatively easy to grow. It needs plenty of warmth and plenty of water in the growing season, but keep it dry in the winter. In the wild they can grow up to 13 feet (4 m), but do not expect that in your greenhouse or window sill.

Uncarinas are tender, cannot endure temperatures below 35 ° F (2 °C), if grown outdoors they will probably grow back from roots, if frozen. They are quite heat tolerant. Uncarina needs a rich, very well drained potting soil. Use diluted fertilizer on young plants to speed up growth. This plant blooms easily, and when covered with flowers, it is a striking vision. The seed capsules feature small hooked harpoons… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Uncarina

Origin

Pterodiscus speciosus is native to South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

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