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Accepted Scientific Name: Orbea variegata (L.) Haw.
Syn. Pl. Succ. 40 40 1812.
Origin and Habitat: South Africa. Orbea lepida was raised from seed sent from South Africa by Scholl (ex Jacquin), cultivated specimens!
Orbea variegata (L.) Haw.
Syn. Pl. Succ. 40 40 1812.
- Orbea variegata (L.) Haw.
- Orbea anguinea (Jacq.) Haw.
- Orbea atrata (Tod.)
- Stapelia atrata Tod.
- Orbea atropurpurea (Salm-Dyck)
- Orbea bisulca Haw.
- Orbea bufonia (Jacq.) Haw.
- Orbea ciliolata (Tod.)
- Stapelia ciliolata Tod.
- Orbea ciliolulata (Tod. ex Rüst)
- Stapelia ciliolulata Tod. ex Rüst
- Orbea clypeata (Jacq.) Haw.
- Orbea conspurcata (Willd.) Schult.
- Orbea curtisii Haw.
- Orbea hispida (Horn ex Rüst)
- Stapelia hispida Horn ex Rüst
- Orbea horizontalis (N.E.Br.)
- Stapelia horizontalis N.E.Br.
- Orbea inodora Haw.
- Orbea lepida (Jacq.) Haw.
- Orbea marginata (Willd.) Schult.
- Orbea marmorata (Jacq.) Schult. in Roem. & Schult.
- Orbea mixta (Masson) Haw.
- Orbea natalensis (Rüst)
- Stapelia natalensis Rüst
- Orbea normalis (Jacq.) Schult. in Roem. & Schult.
- Orbea obliqua (Willd.)
- Orbea ophiuncula (Haw.)
- Orbea orbicularis (Andrews) Haw.
- Orbea picta (Donn) Haw.
- Orbea planiflora (Jacq.) Don
- Orbea putida (A.Berger)
- Stapelia putida A.Berger
- Orbea quinquenervia Haw.
- Orbea retusa Haw.
- Orbea rugosa (Jacq.) Don
- Orbea scutellata (Tod.)
- Stapelia scutellata Tod.
- Orbea scylla (hort.)
- Stapelia scylla hort.
- Orbea trisulca (Donn)
- Stapelia trisulca Donn
- Orbea variegata var. brevicornis (N.E.Br.)
- Orbea variegata var. pallida (N.E.Br.)
- Stapelia variegata var. pallida N.E.Br.
- Orbea variegata var. prometheus (Dammann ex Rüst)
- Orbea woodfordiana Haw.
ENGLISH: Starfish Plant, Starfish Cactus, Toad Plant, Toad Cactus, Carrion Plant, Starfish Flower
Description: Orbea lepida (syn= Stapelia lepida) is a fleshy-stemmed, perennial succulent member of the Asclepiadaceae family very like Orbea variegata, but the branches are green not glaucescent, and its flowers are very much smaller and have a different appearance. Pedicels usually twin. Corolla greenish yellow to sulphur-yellow with purple-brown dots with a paler circular bulge (or annulus) around the corona scattered with smaller purple spots. Outer branch of inner corona subulate acute inner one obtuse. However it is hard to tell apart one from the other by body characteristic. In accordance with the variability of the species Orbea lepida is invalid and nowadays considered as a synonym of Orbea variegata.
Habit: Compactly branched, glabrous in all parts, it form small clumps or mats.
Stems: 5-7.5 cm long, 8-10 mm thick, glabrous.
**Flowers:*** 1–2 together near the base of the stems, successively developed. Pedicels 18-25 mm long. Sepals 4-5 mm long, ovate, acute or acuminate. Corolla rather small, about 3.5-4 cm in diameter, with a distinct annulus on the disk; inner face transversely rugose on the lobes, granulate-tuberculate on the annulus, glabrous and not ciliate, sulphur-yellow, covered with rather small irregularly scattered dark purple-brown spots, without intermingling lines, those on the paler annulus smaller than those on the lobes, which are about 12 mm long, broadly ovate, acute; annulus with a recurved-spreading acute margin. Outer corona-lobes 3 mm long, 1.5-2 mm broad, oblong, emarginate or bifid, sometimes with a minute tooth at the base of the notch, very pale, greenish or greenish-yellow, with or without a central suffused and dotted stripe extending to about 2/3 of the way up or some dots around the teeth. Inner corona-lobes 2-horned, pale yellow or greenish, with or without purple-brown dots; inner horn 3-3.5 mm long, erect, recurving at the slightly clavate apex; outer horn ascending-spreading, half as long as the inner or shorter, subulate.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Orbea variegata group
- Orbea lepida (Jacq.) Haw.: flower 5-7 cm Ø, patterned with chocolate or purple blotches on a greenish-yellow background. Corolla rugose, annulus yellow speckled with dark spots. Distribution: Eastern Cape
- Orbea variegata (L.) Haw.: flowers very much smaller, corolla sulphur-yellow with purple-brown dots with a paler circular bulge (or annulus) around the corona scattered with smaller purple spots.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) N. E. Brown. “Flora Capensis”, Vol 4, 1909
2) George Don “A General System of Gardening and Botany” Rivington, 1838
Orbea lepida Photo by: Luiza Ferreira
The gallery now contains thousands of pictures, however it is possible to do even more. We are, of course, seeking photos of species not yet shown in the gallery but not only that, we are also looking for better pictures than those already present. Read More...
Cultivation and Propagation: Orbea lepida is very easy to grow, it is the ideal plant for beginners.
Soil: Use a gritty, well-drained soil pH 7,5 to 8,5 (mildly alkaline).
Exposure: It needs Light shade to full sun (but tolerate shadow).
Temperature: It is very resistant to heat, and will also tolerate quite cold temperatures and light frost too (in good condition), best in a ventilated environment.
Moisture: Water regularly during the growing season, keep dry in winter.
Pests and diseases: It is quite resistant to the “Balck spot” disease of Asclepiads.
Propagation: It is easily propagated by removing a cutting, sometimes with roots attached, in spring and summer, But seeds germinate readily if they are sown when fresh.
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