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Stapelia erectiflora

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Scientific Name

Stapelia erectiflora N.E. Br.

Synonyms

Stapelia erectiflora var. erectiflora, Gonostemon erectiflorus

Scientific Classification

Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Tribe: Stapeliae
Genus: Stapelia

Description

Stapelia erectiflora is a clump-forming succulent, up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall. Stems are shortly decumbent, 4-ribbed, with small conspicuous tubercle teeth.  The rudimentary leaves are erect, pubescent and caducous. Flowers are borne on up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) long flower stem. They are up to 0.4 inch (1 cm) across, brownish-green to purplish, with transverse stripes and short white hair.

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 withdrawal of water during the winter months. A minimum winter temperature of 10°C (50°F) is acceptable, providing that plants are kept absolutely dry. A heated growing bench or incubator may help delicate plants to get through the colder months. However, many species live under shrubs in 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 a mineral-only compost to minimize the chance of fungal attack on the roots. A layer of grit on the surface of the compost prevents moisture from accumulating around the base of the stems.

Keeping Stapelias and their roots free of pests such as mealy bugs is the real key to success as fungal attack often occurs as a result of damage to stems by insects… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Stapelia

Origin

Native to South Africa (Western Cape and Northern Cape).

Links

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