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Accepted Scientific Name: Echidnopsis cereiformis Hook.f.
Bot. Mag. 97: t. 5930. 1871
Origin and Habitat: Nile Land Eritrea or Abyssinia: cultivated specimen! Described from a living plant, introduced into cultivation by Messrs. Dammann & Co. of Naples.
Echidnopsis cereiformis Hook.f.
Bot. Mag. 97: t. 5930. 1871
- Echidnopsis cereiformis Hook.f.
- Piaranthus fascicularis hort.
- Echidnopsis cereiformis var. brunnea A.Berger
- Echidnopsis cereiformis var. obscura A.Berger
- Echidnopsis cylindrica (Decne.) K.Schum.
- Echidnopsis nubica N.E.Br.
- Echidnopsis tessellata (Decne.) K.Schum.
- Apteranthes tessellata Decne.
Description: Echidnopsis cereiformis var. brunnea is a dark flowered variety of Echidnopsis cereiformis with tiny deep flowers that sprout out of the entire length of each stem but mainly toward the tip in autumn. The var. brunnea often mentioned in literature and sometimes offered in plant lists, should be fully synonymized with the type variety.
Stems: More slender, less hight, edges sharper.
Flowers: Yellowish-brown to purple-brown, paler towards the centre; coronal-lobes yellow.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Echidnopsis cereiformis group
- Echidnopsis cereiformis Hook.f.: Stems snake-like 7-30 cm long with 6-10 ribs with broadly hexagonal tubercles. Flowers campanulate 3-8 mm across, sessile, dull yellow. Distribution: Ethiopia, Sudan and Eritrea
- Echidnopsis cereiformis var. brunnea A.Berger: stems more slender, less hight, edges sharper, flowers yellowish-brown to brown. Nile Land Eritrea or Abyssinia. Described from a cultivated specimen.
- Echidnopsis cereiformis var. obscura A.Berger: has dark brown flowers. Distribution: Eritrea Nile Land Schweinfurth (ex Berger).
- Echidnopsis cylindrica (Decne.) K.Schum.: Similar to E. cereiformis but with longer branches and larger flowers.
- Echidnopsis nubica N.E.Br.: Stems and inflorescence as in E. cereiformis but with small brownish flowers. Distribution: South-Eeast Sudan and Ethiopia.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) N. E. Brown.“Flora of Tropical Africa” Vol 4, Part 1, page 231, 1904
2) Focke Albers, Ulrich Meve “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Asclepiadaceae: Asclepiadaceae” Volume 4 Springer Science & Business Media, 2002
Cultivation and Propagation: Echidnopsis cereiformis is an easy obliging blooming plant, which is happy in any average succulent house. This plant is common to warrant any description, let it suffice to say that this plant is easy to grow and flower, and one which will tolerate most soils and growing conditions.
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: They 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°C with plenty of light.
Sun Exposure: Partial sun or light shade.
Pest and diseases: They are generally fairly easy to grow, especially if kept pest-free. They are susceptible to stem and root mealy bugs, and damage from these may well initiate fungal attack. If you do have problems with a stem or with basal rotting, you can reliably isolate the healthy parts, dry them off, and re-root them in moist compost.
Cultural Practices: Re-pot every 2 years.
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 seeds sowing in spring in moist, sandy peat moss. Barely cover seeds.
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