Beautiful pendulous, bell-shaped
flowers in summer.
procumbent plant that
trail and hang down over the pot.
Stems: pale green or reddish and slightly furrowed. Stems are
quadrangular, a factor which allows expansion and contraction to
compensate without harm for any excess or shortness of fluids inside;
hence they may appear flat- or sunken-sided according to the
availability of water. This is the "succulence"
storehouse for nutrients, which are crucial to their
survival in harsh,
campanulate or more open in a
about 8cm in diameter and 7 or 8cm long in late
summer. They are purple-brown
and the interiors is blackish purple or dark maroon which absorbs light
so no detail can be seen; inside the cup is
even short-hairy. Foul-smelling.
Spring: When winter ends and they begin to
grow again, they will require much more water and soaking the pots
will no longer put the plants at risk for
rot. In the spring they will grow well in
partial shade and leaving them out in the rain may provide them
with the water they need.
Summer: In the summer months they will tolerate heavy
rain, but will be just as happy if the season is
dry. It's best to sort out the
stems while the plants are
resting in the summer before they begin their autumnal
growth cycle. They will tolerate very hot weather outdoors
as long as they are kept in
filtered light and this will encourage them to
flower in the Autumn. They also enjoy some
fertiliser. Moving the plants as they are developing
buds may cause them to spontaneously
abort the flowers all together.
Autumn: In the fall keep them outdoors until the night time
temperatures drop below the 5°C.
Winter: Winter care presents no problems at 5°-10° C with
plenty of light. As soon as they are flowered be sure to take extra
precautions to keep them
dry, because damp cool conditions when the plants are
resting is an invitation to fungal
infections, but - according to temperatures –some occasional lit
watering may be useful.
in: N. E. Brown, Ann. Transvaal Mus. 2. 168., 1910
Origin: Transvaal, South Africa
wilmaniae C. A.
Lückhoff ., 1933
(N.E.Br.) P.V.Heath 1992,
Stapelia wilmaniae C.A.Luckhoff 1933.
Common Name: Black Bells, Star Flower. Maroon Cup Starfish, Rugose Cup Starfish,
peculiar plant has been named after Mrs R. Leendertz who found it in 1909 near Heidelberg in the
The big flowers are dark purple and have a
characteristic long flower tube.
Propagation: Easiest with stem
cuttings. Allow cuttings to
dry a day before planting.
Stems must be laid (Not buried) on gritty
compost and will then
root from the underside of the stems. It can also be increased from
sowing in spring in moist, sandy
peat moss. Barely cover
season it's best to lay the stems out for several days before
replanting them and then pot them only in dry
soil and with hold any water until they begin to
shrivel or start growing again.
Potting medium: Since roots are quite shallow, use a
cactus mix or add extra
pumice to regular soil potting soil. A gritty, very free-draining
compost is suitable, and
clay pots help the plants to dry out between watering.
Re-pot every 2 years.
diseases: Stapelia are generally fairly easy to
grow, especially if kept pest-free. They are very
susceptible to stem and root
mealy bugs, and damage from these may well initiate fungal
attack. Any time when there is a
dead or dying stem in the pot it is important to remove it
immediately and completely before other
healthy stems can become
ill too, isolate the healthy parts, dry them off, and
re-root them in new compost.
Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and
cultivars of Stapelia leendertziae.