Stapelia glanduliflora Masson
Glandular-flowered Stapelia, Glandular Stapelia
Ceropegia glanduliflora, Gonostemon glanduliflorus, Stisseria glanduliflora
Stapelia glanduliflora is a small succulent that forms clumps of erect, grey-green to purplish, shortly hairy stems with low, conical tubercles joined into four obtuse angles along the stem. The stems are up to 6 inches (15 cm) long and 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) thick. Each tubercle is tipped with an erect or incurved rudimentary leaf.
The flowers are star-shaped, up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) in diameter, and appear near the base of the young stems on up to 2 inches (5 cm) long stalks in fall. They seem to be odorless. The corolla is pale greenish yellow, transversely striped with pale red, and densely covered with transparent-white, club-shaped hairs. The corona is up to 0.3 inches (0.7 cm) in diameter, with deltoid outer lobes, yellow to orange towards the base, becoming purplish towards the apex and along margins, and almost thread-like, reddish to purple inner lobes flecked with yellow.
Stapelia glanduliflora is native to South Africa. It grows on stony slopes among bushes, mainly along the valley of the Olifants River from near Klawer to about 20 km north of Citrusdal in the Western Cape province.
USDA hardiness zone 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °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 water withdrawal during the winter months. A minimum winter temperature of 10°C (50°F) is acceptable, providing 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 their 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 mineral-only compost to minimize the chance of a 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 mealybugs is the key to success, as fungal attack often occurs due to damage to stems by insects.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Stapelia.
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