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TROPICAL PLANT CATALOG Printer friendly page  

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Orbea variegata, Stapelia variegata, Starfish Flower, Star Flower, Toad Cactus

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 Orbea variegata, Stapelia variegata
Family: Apocynaceae   (Formerly:Asclepiadaceae)
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Starfish Flower, Star Flower, Toad Cactus
Origin: South Africa
Small shrub 2-5 ftFull sunSemi-shadeModerate waterUnusual colorYellow/orange flowers

Very easy to grow, it is the ideal plant for beginners, needs light shade to full sun (but tolerate shadow), very resistance to heat will also tolerate quite cold temperatures and light frost too (in good condition), best in a ventilated environment. Water regularly during the growing season, keep dry in winter. Use a gritty, well-drained soil pH 7.5 to 8,5 (mildly alkaline). It is easily propagated by removing a cutting, sometimes with roots attached, in spring and summer, but seeds germinate readily if they are sown when fresh.

The typical flower is 5-7 cm across with 5 blunt lobes, starfish-like, attractively patterned or dusted with chocolate/purple, brown/bronze blotches on a greenish-yellow background, mostly in 6-7 rows or irregularly scattered, Corolla rugose, with a yellow central disc speckled with dark spots. Flowers coming in late summer or fall, have a light carrion smell.

It is quite free flowering if in direct sunlight. The plant can readily set seed, after the fecundation the carpels develop long cylindrical fruits up to 12 cm long, these need to be contained when they ripen, because as soon as the fruit opens it liberate a cloud of flying seed provided whit a white feathery cotton fluff.


Similar plants:

 Orbea variegata, Stapelia variegata, Starfish Flower, Star Flower, Toad Cactus

Click to see full-size image

Orbea variegata, Stapelia variegata, Starfish Flower, Star Flower, Toad Cactus

Click to see full-size image
Orbea variegata, Stapelia variegata, Starfish Flower, Star Flower, Toad Cactus

Click to see full-size image
Orbea variegata, Stapelia variegata, Starfish Flower, Star Flower, Toad Cactus

Click to see full-size image


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