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Accepted Scientific Name: Stapelia grandiflora Masson
Stapel. Nov. 13. t. 11. 1797 [Mar 1797] Masson
Origin and Habitat: Stapelia desmetiana has a very similar distribution to that of S. grandiflora
- Stapelia desmetiana N.E.Br.
Stapelia grandiflora Masson
Stapel. Nov. 13. t. 11. 1797 [Mar 1797]
- Stapelia grandiflora Masson
- Stapelia ambigua Masson
- Stapelia ambigua var. fulva Sweet
- Gonostemon grandiflorus var. fulvus (Sweet) P.V.Heath
- Stapelia desmetiana N.E.Br.
- Gonostemon grandiflorus var. desmetianus (N.E.Br.) P.V.Heath
- Stapelia fergusoniae (R.A.Dyer) P.V.Heath
- Stapelia desmetiana var. apicalis N.E.Br.
- Gonostemon grandiflorus var. apicalis (N.E.Br.) P.V.Heath
- Stapelia desmetiana var. fergusoniae R.A.Dyer
- Gonostemon grandiflorus var. fergusoniae (R.A.Dyer) P.V.Heath
- Stapelia desmetiana var. pallida N.E.Br.
- Gonostemon grandiflorus var. pallidus (N.E.Br.) P.V.Heath
- Stapelia flavirostris N.E.Br.
- Stapelia grandiflora var. lineata N.E.Br.
- Gonostemon grandiflorus var. lineatus (N.E.Br.) P.V.Heath
- Stapelia obscura N.E.Br.
- Stapelia senilis N.E.Br.
- Gonostemon grandiflorus var. senilis (N.E.Br.) P.V.Heath
Stapelia grandiflora var. conformis (N.E.Br.) Bruyns
Stapeliads S. Africa Madagascar 2: 470. 2005
- Stapelia grandiflora var. conformis (N.E.Br.) Bruyns
- Gonostemon macowanii var. conformis (N.E.Br.) P.V.Heath
- Stapelia conformis N.E.Br.
- Stapelia macowanii var. conformis (N.E.Br.) L.C.Leach
- Stapelia conformis var. abrasa N.E.Br.
- Gonostemon macowanii var. abrasus (N.E.Br.) P.V.Heath
- Stapelia macowanii N.E.Br.
- Gonostemon macowanii (N.E.Br.) P.V.Heath
ENGLISH: carrion flower, toad cactus, toad plant, starfish cactus, Star Fish Flower, Carrion Flower, Great flowered stapelia
Description: Stapelia desmetiana is a leafless, finely hairy succulent with robust, erect, 4-angled stems, 20 30 mm diameter, forming large clumps, 10-30 cm tall. It is a free-growing, large-flowered plant that differs from Stapelia grandiflora Masson in the corolla being hairy to the tips of the lobes. Dr. N. E. Brown gives an excellent figure of the species in Hooker's Icones Plantarum (PL 1916) and remarks on the extreme variability in the shape of the inner corona-lobes.
Stems: Green, or reddish-green, conspicuously velvety-pubescent, branched, 15-30 cm high, 2-3 cm in diameter, densely velvety pubescent; angles much compressed and the teeth with erect rudimentary leaves to 2 mm long, or whitish leaf-scars. Sap clear.
Flowers: Star-shaped, usually 3?10 successively developed from a short stout peduncle on the lower portion of the young stems, opening one at a time. Pedicel 1-5 cm long, 4 mm thick, velvety. Calyx-lobes (sepals ) 7-14 mm long, 4 mm broad, ovate-lanceolate, acute, velvety. Corolla ovate, acuminate in bud, when expanded 11-14(-17) cm in diameter, very pale purple-yellow to dark flesh-red, with numerous transverse yellowish (rarely olive-coloured) lines on the disk and on the basal 1/3? 2/3 of the inner face of the lobes, pubescent beneath, rugose and densely hairy above with straight simple purple and white hairs 2-5 mm long, all pointing towards the apex of the lobes, but are not adpressed. Lobes 5-7 cm long, 2.5-3 cm broad, flat, ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, ciliate with long simple white or pale purple hairs, half of them directed inwards. Outer corona-lobes pale yellow with a broad purple mark down the inner face, ascending-spreading, recurved at the tips, 6-10 mm long, ovate-oblong, channelled down the face, sub- crenate on the upper half. Inner-lobes dark purple-brown, often paler (or perhaps yellowish) towards the tips, 2-horned, connivent-erect; inner horn 3-4 mm long, subulate, recurving. Outer horn 6-10 mm long, varying from slightly longer to twice as long as the dorsal wing, oblong, sub-crenate, joined to the inner horn at the base
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Stapelia grandiflora group
- Stapelia desmetiana N.E.Br.: has star-shaped 11-14(-17) cm in diameter, purple-yellow to dark flesh-red, with transverse yellowish lines on the disk and densely hairy above with purple and white hairs. It has a very similar distribution to that of S. grandiflora
- Stapelia grandiflora Masson: Flower 5-22 cm (usually 10/12 cm) across, deeply lobed, orange, dark-red, deep brown-purple to chocolate, with transverse brow to whitish corrugation, covered with purplish hairs. Distribution: Southern Africa (Northern cape, Eastern Cape and Free State).
Bibliography: Major references and further factures
1) N. E. Brown, "Flora Capensis", Vol 4, 1909
2) Stapelia desmetiana in: "The Flowering Plants of Africa", Volume 12, Botanical Research Institute, Department of Agricultural Technical Services, Republic of South Africa., 1932
Cultivation and Propagation: It is an easy obliging blooming plant when mature, which is happy in any average succulent house.
Soil: Since roots are quite shallow, use a cactus mix or add extra perlite or 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.
Watering: Stapelia require moderately watering through the growing season but enjoy plenty of water and some fertiliser in hot weather, this helps them to flower freely. Water more sparingly in winter according to temperatures. But, as with most asclepiads, it is unwise to leave them wet in cold weather.
Hardiness: Winter care presents no problems at 5
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