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Stapelianthus pilosus


Scientific Name

Stapelianthus pilosus Lavranos & D.S. Hardy


Trichocaulon decaryi, Ceropegia pilosa

Scientific Classification

Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Genus: Stapelianthus


Stapelianthus pilosus is a clump-forming succulent that grows up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall. Stems are green to very dark brown, richly branched, cylindrical, up to 12 inches (30 cm) long, and up to 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) in diameter. The leaves emerge green in spring, but quickly begin assuming their bright, eye-catching hues. Flowers are yellow with brown spots, with five triangular lobes, and up to 0.7 inches (1.8 cm) across.


USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Stapeliads are relatively easy to grow. They should be treated as an outdoor plant 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. Stapeliads require a reasonable amount of sunlight to promote flowering and maintain a well-shaped plant. Very shady positions will produce very poor flowering.

These plants come from climates where they survive extremely high temperatures in the summer months, so 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 late fall and early spring.

The easiest and best way to propagate Stapeliads is from stem cuttings, which can be taken virtually throughout the year. Using the seeds is also a method to propagate Stapeliads.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Stapeliads.


Stapelianthus pilosus is native to Madagascar and is concentrated in the far south of the island.


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