Quaqua mammillaris (L.) Bruyns
Stapelia mammillaris, Boucerosia mammillaris, Caralluma mammillaris, Caralluma winkleri, Caralluma winkleriana, Pectinaria mammillaris, Piaranthus mammillaris
Quaqua mammillaris is a densely branched succulent shrub with green leafless 4- to 5-angled stems with irregularly arranged tubercles very sharply armed with a hard, yellow-brown spike. It grows to 20 inches (50 cm) in height and spreads to 2 feet (60 cm). The stems are green to purple or brown, occasionally green mottled with purple-brown. They are up to 20 inches (50 cm) long, up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter, and branch mostly from their base and root only from the central stem. Flowers are dark purple-black inside, and this dark color continues just into the mouth of the tube, where it breaks up to form spots and rings on a white background in the tube. They are up to 1.1 inches (2.7 cm) across and produced in large numbers in many dense, more or less simultaneously opening clusters along grooves of the stems in fall. Fruits are paired follicles with reddish markings and resemble antelope horns. They split on the side, releasing seeds with hairy attachments in wind dispersal.
USDA hardiness zone 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Stapeliads are relatively easy to grow. They should be treated as an outdoor plants as they will easily rot indoors and cannot flower without exposure to outdoor temperature fluctuations. They should be grown under cover so that watering can be controlled. They require a reasonable amount of sunlight to promote flowering and maintain a well-shaped plant. Very shady positions will produce very poor flowering. Stapeliads come from climates where they survive extremely high temperatures in the summer months. Hence, 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 November 1 and March 1.
The easiest and best way to propagate Stapeliads is from stem cuttings, which can be taken virtually throughout the year. The seed is also a method of propagation.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Stapeliads.
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