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Stapelia flavopurpurea

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Scientific Name

Stapelia flavopurpurea Marloth

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Stapelia flavopurpurea is a succulent that forms clumps of decumbent green stems that acquire a purple color when are exposed in full sun. Flowers are little, star-shaped, and range in color from a bright yellow to greenish with maroon overtones and centers. They have a light sweet smell like beeswax, unusual in the Stapelia group. According to the temperatures, the flowers generally appear in summer or fall.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b: from 35 °F (+1.7 °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 withdrawal of water 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 habitat and prefer light shade rather than full sun.

A gritty succulent soil mix is essential, and clay pots are advisable for the more delicate species. Some growers prefer a mineral-only soil to minimize the chance of a fungal attack on the roots. A layer of grit on the surface of the soil prevents moisture from accumulating around the base of stems.

Keeping Stapelias and their roots free of pests such as mealybugs is the real key to success as fungal attack often occurs as a result of damage to stems by insects.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Stapelia.

Origin

Endemic to Namibia.

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