Your support is critical to our success.
Origin and Habitat: Republic of South Africa (Northern Cape), Namibia, and Botswana. Its type locality is the Laingsburg district of Cape Province in South Africa.
Habitat and ecology: Stapelia flavopurpurea grows under small bushes together with small specimens of Hoodia gordonii and Stultitia cooperi which also sought the all important shade which Stapelieae love.
Stapelia flavopurpurea Marloth
Trans. S. African Philos. Soc. 18: 48 48 1909.
- Stapelia flavopurpurea Marloth
- Gonostemon flavopurpureus (Marloth) P.V.Heath
- Stapelia flavopurpurea var. fleckii (A.Berger & Schltr.) A.C.White & B.Sloane
Description: Stapelia flavopurpurea is a tufted cactus-like plant to 10 cm, with wonderful small-sized flowers that have a diameter of only 3cm. They are flat, shaped like a star-fish, and quinquefid interrupted by irregularly arranged cross wrinkles. Their colour are eyecatching: yellow, green, orange, or purple, white, with maroon overtones. The centre of the flower is white and covered with red claviform hairs. The combination of colours is quite bizarre and lovely, very variable, even on the same plant. S. flavopurpurea is one of the few species whose flowers are not distinguished by a penetrating smell of carrion but, on the contrary, have a light sweet smell like liquorice or honey, unusual in the Stapelia group. Flowers with these scents may well be pollinated by bee, because the enticement of insects depends not only on colour but also in a high degree on smell. The smells involved are not in every case the pleasant kinds produced by violets and roses. Stapelia flavopurpurea is closely related to Stapelia olivacea.
Stem: Long, lax, crawling and decumbent at the base, 7-10 cm high, 6-8 mm thick, square, with flattish or slightly concave sides, glabrous to the eye, but very minutely puberulous under a lens, green that acquire a purple colour when are exposed in full sun. Tubercles inconspicuous.
Leaves: Rudimentary very minute, erect, about 1 mm long, deltoid, acute, caducous, stipular rudiments pale, obtuse.
Flower: 1–2 together along the length of the stems, pointing outwards.Peduncle robust. Pedicels erect, 18-30 mm long (rarely longer), 1.5 mm thick, and together with the calyx minutely puberulous like the stems. Sepals 3-4 mm long, lanceolate, acute. Corolla to 3(-4) cm in diameter, very deeply lobed, the united part forming a very small funnel-shaped tube about 4 mm deep and 6-7 mm broad, whitish, covered with short erect clavate purple hairs on the upper part and around its mouth. Corolla lobes horizontally spreading, about 13-16 mm long, and 5 mm broad when flattened out, linear-lanceolate, acute, margins much recurved, with an exceedingly minute puberulence on the back, transversely rugose, with very prominent ridges and glabrous on the inner surface, not ciliate, dull yellow, pale of bright green, brown, red, or orange, wrinkles often contrasting in colour. Outer corona-lobes nearly erect, 2.5-3 mm long, oblong, with the sides much incurved and pressed against the base of the inner corona-lobes forming deep nectar-cavities, subtruncate and somewhat toothed on the top margin on each side of the short acute apical spreading point, purple, yellowish at the base; inner corona-lobes 2-horned, white, tinged with purple; outer horn free to the base, about 4 mm long, laterally flattened, linear-subulate, suberect; inner horn about 6 mm long, dorsally flattened, linear-filiform, connivent at the base, then recurving over the tip of the outer horn. Pollinia 0.7 x 0.3 mm, narrowly D-shaped, difficult to reach.
Phenology: Blossoming generally occurs in late summer or autumn, according to the temperatures.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) N. E. Brown “Flora Capensis”, Vol 4, 1909
2) Alain Campbell White, Boyd L. Sloane “The Stapelieae”, Volume 2 Typography and printing by S. E. Haselton at Abbey San Encino Press, 1937
3) Werner Rauh “The Wonderful World of Succulents: Cultivation and Description of Selected Succulent Plants Other Than Cacti” Smithsonian Institution Press, 1984
4) Reinhardt Höhn, Johannes Petermann “Curiosities of the Plant Kingdom” Universe Books, 1980
5) National Cactus and Succulent Society “The National Cactus and Succulent Journal: The Official Journal of the National Cactus & Succulent Society” Volumes 15-18, 1960
6) Birgit Müller und Focke Albers: Stapelia. In: Focke Albers, Ulrich Meve “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Asclepiadaceae: Asclepiadaceae” Volume 4 Springer Science & Business Media, 2002
7) Mark Dimmitt “Stapelia flavopurpurea: A sweet starfish flower” Growing Succulents in the Desert Column, August 2010 Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society
8) L. C. Leach “A Revision of Stapelia L.: (asclepiadaceae)” Aloe Books, 1985
9) Doreen Court “Succulent Flora of Southern Africa” A.A. Balkema, 2000
10) Bruyns, P.V. “Stapeliads of southern Africa and Madagascar” vol. 1. Umdaus Press, Hatfield, Pretoria. 2005
11) Foden, W. & Potter, L. 2005. Stapelia flavopurpurea Marloth. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2015.1. Accessed on 2016/03/11
12) Gideon Smith, Neil R. Crouch “Guide to Succulents of Southern Africa” Struik Nature, 01/nov/2009
13) Clive Innes “Complete Handbook of Cacti and Succulents” Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 01 December 1981
14) Luckhoff “The Stapelieae of Southern Africa” Capetown, A.A. Balkema 1952
15) James Cullen, Sabina G. Knees, H. Suzanne Cubey “The European Garden Flora Flowering Plants: A Manual for the Identification of Plants Cultivated in Europe, Both Out-of-Doors and Under Glass” Cambridge University Press, 11/ago/2011
Stapelia flavopurpurea Photo by: Valentino Vallicelli
Stapelia flavopurpurea Photo by: Luiza Ferreira
Stapelia flavopurpurea Photo by: © Plantemania
Stapelia flavopurpurea Photo by: Cactus Art
Stapelia flavopurpurea Photo by: Julio C. García
Stapelia flavopurpurea Photo by: Diego Armentano
Stapelia flavopurpurea Photo by: Raffa C. Garcia
Stapelia flavopurpurea Photo by: Julio C. García
Cultivation and Propagation: Stapelia flavopurpurea is one of many species suitable for a small pot. In cultivation it is one of the easier stapelias to grow. Masses of stems may hang 30 cm or more over the edge of a pot for a time, but the joints are loosely attached and easily broken.
Water requirements: It needs regular watering, especially abundant during the hottest summer day, waterings will begin at the first signs of vegetation and could be stopped in autumn, either excessive and very scarce watering can induce rot.
Hardiness: It resists temperatures approaching of 0° C (under good conditions), but it is more cautious to provide it a minimum of 8 to 10°C.
Light requirements: It take a great advantaged if grown in very strong light but does not have to be in full sun during the hottest hours. Keep the plant in a ventilated and dry environments.
Soil: The potting mix must be drained but nutrient.
Pest and diseases: The main problems is to avoid the “black spots” disease and other rots which can in a very short time destroy the plants. If rots starts the plant will almost inevitably die.
Propagation: Like most stapeliads, plants become senescent after several years, so they should be restarted from cuttings when growth and flowering slow. The multiplication is easy: Take away a fresh stem, let dry the cut surface, then put it out of ground, simply posed on the substrate in semi-shade. The best time is in late summer when they’re growing most actively. The one problem is that if the stem is even partially buried, the plant will usually rot. Cuttings should simply be laid on the surface of the potting medium. Healthy young plants grow rampantly.
Click here to view them all!
|Back to Stapelia index|
|Back to Asclepiadaceae index|
|Back to Succulents Encyclopedia index|