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  Stapelia leendertziae forma cristata CACTUS ART
NURSERY

Cultivation and Mail Sale
of Cacti and Succulents.

 


Stapelia leendertziae forma cristata
 

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The line crest is pinkish and finely velvety.

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Family: Asclepiadaceae (Apocynaceae)  (Milkweeds family)

Scientific Name: Stapelia leendertziae  N.E. Br., 1910
Published in:  N. E. Brown, Ann. Transvaal Mus. 2. 168., 1910
forma cristata

Origin Garden origin (Nursery produced cultivar)

Common Name: Black Bells, Star Flower. Maroon Cup Starfish, Rugose Cup Starfish, Carrion Flower.
 

Description: The standard Stapelia leendertziae is one of the most peculiar of the stapelias with tufted creeping or procumbent stems that trail and hang down over the pot. It is famous for the very characteristic dark purple urn-shaped  flower, which distinguish this species from all the other plants of the genus.
Stems:
Pale green (or reddish in bright sun) and slightly furrowed.
Flowers: Deep cup-shaped / campanulate or more open in a star, dimension about 8 cm 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 rugose, densely velvety, even short-hairy. Foul-smelling.

The crested form is very nice and will form readily a large, fascinating specimen with fan-shaped stems that hung down elegantly over the pot.
 
 



 

Maintenance: 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 . They also enjoy some fertiliser.
Autumn: In the fall keep them outdoors until the night time temperatures drop below the 5C,
Winter: Winter care presents no problems at 5-10 C, with plenty of light. As soon as they have bloomed, 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.

Propagation: Easiest with stem cuttings. Allow cuttings to dry a day before planting. Stems must be laid (not buried) on gritty compost, and they will then root from the underside of the stems.  In any season it's best to lay the stems out for several days before replanting them, and then pot them only in dry soil, withholding 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 perlite or pumice to regular 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.
Pests and 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.
Crested plant:
This crested form grows quickly but becomes soon old and it is very advisable to restart  every second year new plants using selected crested cuttings.
During the year prune and remove every normal branch.

Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of Stapelia leendertziae.

Photo gallery: Alphabetical listing of Cactus and Succulent pictures published in this site.

Photo gallery STAPELIA

Home | E-mail | Plant files | Mail Sale Catalogue | Links | Information | Search

All the information and photos in cactus art files are now available also in the new the Encyclopaedia of Succulents. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.