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Stephania pierrei

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Scientific Name

Stephania pierrei Diels

Synonyms

Stephania erecta Craib

Scientific Classification

Family: Menispermaceae
Genus: Stephania

Description

Stephania pierrei is an unusual, caudiciform plant with a stem swollen like a round ball up to 1 foot (30 cm) in diameter. It sprouts in spring in a nice fine vine, up to 26.2 feet (8 m) long, with round leaves and yellowish flowers. The foliage dies back in winter.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 40 °F (+4.4 °C)) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

Photo via jolyday.com

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 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.

This 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 period of 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.

Origin

Stephania pierrei is native to southeast Asia (Thailand and Laos).

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