Stephania pierrei Diels
Stephania erecta Craib
Stephania pierrei, also known as Stephania erecta, is an unusual caudiciform plant with a stem swollen like a round ball and up to 1 foot (30 cm) in diameter. It sprouts in spring in a lovely vine, up to 26.2 feet (8 m) long, with round leaves and yellowish flowers. The foliage dies back in winter.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 40 °F (+4.4 °C)) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Stephanias are native to South-east Asia to Australasia region, especially Indochinese countries. In their natural habitats, these caudex plants are usually found in the seasonal deciduous forest on limestone mountain.
In warm, dry, frost-free climates, these are interesting vines for clothing screens, porches, fences, and other supports. They grow well in greenhouses under conditions that suit many cacti and succulents.
These plants thrive in sunny locations in any ordinary soil. In greenhouses, they grow well where the minimum winter night temperature is 50 to 60 °F (10 to 16 °C) and the day temperature a few degrees higher. Stephanias need very well-drained soil, full sun, and airy, not excessively humid conditions. From the time new growth begins in spring until stems and foliage die down in fall, they need moderate watering, enough to keep the soil evenly moist, but not saturated. During their winter dormancy, water should be withheld entirely. Do not overwater, as the caudex will rot, and your plant will die.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Stephania.
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