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Accepted Scientific Name: Huernia thuretii Cels ex Hérincq
Hort. Franc. 73 1866
Origin and Habitat: Eastern Cape (Hell Poort, Cawoods Hole and other places near Grahamstown, MacOwan.) , South Africa.
Habitat and ecology: Huernia thuretii var. primulina grows in dry stony places usually mixed with Huernia thuretii.
Huernia thuretii Cels ex Hérincq
Hort. Franc. 73 1866
- Huernia thuretii Cels ex Hérincq
- Stapelia thuretii (Cels ex Hérincq) Croucher
- Huernia bayeri L.C.Leach
- Huernia brevirostris N.E.Br.
- Huernia brevirostris subs. baviaana L.C.Leach
- Huernia brevirostris var. ecornuta (N.E.Br.) A.C.White & B.Sloane
- Huernia scabra var. ecornuta N.E.Br.
- Huernia brevirostris var. histrionica A.C.White & B.Sloane
- Huernia brevirostris var. immaculata (N.E.Br.) A.C.White & B.Sloane
- Huernia scabra var. immaculata N.E.Br.
- Huernia brevirostris subs. intermedia (N.E.Br.) L.C.Leach
- Huernia brevirostris var. longula (N.E.Br.) A.C.White & B.Sloane
- Huernia scabra var. longula N.E.Br.
- Huernia brevirostris var. pallida (N.E.Br.) A.C.White & B.Sloane
- Huernia scabra var. pallida N.E.Br.
- Huernia brevirostris var. parvipuncta A.C.White & B.Sloane
- Huernia brevirostris var. scabra (N.E.Br.) A.C.White & B.Sloane
- Huernia scabra N.E.Br.
- Huernia inornata Oberm.
- Huernia striata Oberm.
- Huernia thuretii var. primulina (N.E.Br.) L.C.Leach
- Huernia primulina N.E.Br.
- Huernia thuretii var. rugosa N.E.Br.
- Huernia primulina var. rugosa N.E.Br.
ENGLISH: Yelowflower huernia、Primrose huernia.
Description: Huernia thuretii var. primulina (probably best known under its old name Heurnia primulina) is a leafless succulent forming dense clumps to 30 cm or more cm in diameter. This especially lovely type from South Africa has has longer, more creeping, blue-green stems up to about 8 cm tall. The flowers, 3 to 8 from the basal part of the stems, are about 2.5 cm across, with deep bell-shaped centre from which the corolla flares out abruptly and are a delightful uniform primrose-yellow and smooth, with a low annulus and papillae rather dense prominent. Hence the common name "Primrose huernia". The acumination of the buds and intensity of the colour of the corolla is variable.
Stems: 4-8 (or more under cultivation) cm high, 12-25 mm thick, excluding the teeth, acutely 4–5-angled, with more or less channelled sides, glabrous, glaucous-green, at least when young and often tinged with purple where exposed to the sun. Ribs with compressed deltoid teeth 3-5 mm long, with dark-coloured very acute recurving tips.
Flowers: In bundles of 3–8 near the base of the young stems, 2–5 often being open at the same time. Pedicels 12-25 mm long, glabrous. Sepals 4-5 mm long, 1.5 mm broad, lanceolate-subulate, glabrous. Corolla in bud obtusely to very acutely pointed, acutely 5-angled, when expanded 2-3 cm in diameter (slightly larger than in var. thuretii). Tube globose-campanulate. Limb horizontally spreading abruptly from the tube, sometimes very slightly raised around its mouth, with recurving lobes 6-9 mm long, 6-10 mm broad, deltoid, variably acute, smooth and glabrous outside and inside, entirely pale lemon-yellow to a somewhat golden primrose-yellow, without markings or a purple area around the corona. Tube 5-7 mm long and as much in diameter outside, constricted at the mouth. Outer corona, deeply 5-lobed, lobes 1-1.5 mm long, subquadrate, bifid, velvety crimson-black or purple-black. Inner corona-lobes 2-2.5 mm long, subulate, acute, with a slight transverse dorsal ridge at the base, connivent over the staminal column, with erect points, purple-brown.
Blooming season: The attractive primrose-yellow flowers are produced in profusion somewhat later in the growing season than those of most other species.
Fruits: The fruit are paired spindle-shaped capsules (follicles), resembling the horns of an antelope, with the tightly packed seeds inside. At maturity they split open to release numerous small brown seeds crowned with long white hairs.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Huernia thuretii group
- Huernia bayeri L.C.Leach: has creamy white to yellow (or rarely pink) petals unspotted or sometimes finely spotted with red. Distribution: Eastern Cape.
- Huernia brevirostris N.E.Br.: has a greenish-yellow, creamy-yellow or pinkish corolla with red spots and lined tube. Distribution: Graaff-Reinet to Willowmore and associated with the Sundays and Groot River valleys
- Huernia brevirostris subs. baviaana L.C.Leach: has a darker brown densely spotted, papillose, corolla face. Inner corona lobes curving, divergent. Outer corona lobes whitish. Distribution: Baviaanskloof, from Willowmore in a south-eastern direction.
- Huernia brevirostris subs. intermedia (N.E.Br.) L.C.Leach: (intermediate between H. thuretii and H. thuretii var. primulina) has yellowish corolla face with few marking and is variable in nearly all characters. Distribution: Cradock-Pearston area and Sundays River.
- Huernia brevirostris var. parvipuncta A.C.White & B.Sloane: has a cream-coloured to yellowish corolla, rarely with a low annulus, with well marked and evenly spaced marron-red dots. Distribution: Eastern Cape.
- Huernia striata Oberm.: has cup-shaped flowers, with petals white to off-white with red or red-brown broken stripes and a maroon throat. Distribution: Tiras Mountains of Namibia.
- Huernia thuretii Cels ex Hérincq: has creamy-yellow flowers spotted or banded with red. The degree of annulation of the disc and colouration of the face is variable. Distribution: RSA (Eastern Cape) and Namibia.
- Huernia thuretii var. primulina (N.E.Br.) L.C.Leach: has longer more creeping stems. Corolla uniformly pale yellow a little larger with a low annulus and papillae rather dense prominent. Distribution: Eastern Cape.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) N. E. Brown. “Flora Capensis”, Vol 4, 1909
2) Bill Keen “Cacti and Succulents: Step-by-Step to Growing Success” Crowood, 18 October 2011
Huernia thuretii var. primulina 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: Huernia primulina has been long known and grows well in cultivation. The flowers are produced regularly, and as the name suggests, are primrose yellow in colour.
Growth rate: This is an extremely easy plant to grow and very quickly forms tight clusters.
Spring: When winter ends and they begin to grow again, they will require much 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 and this will encourage them to flower in the Autumn. They also enjoy some fertiliser. Moving the plants as they are developing buds may cause them to spontaneously abort the flowers all together.
Autumn: In the fall keep them outdoors until the night time temperatures drop below the 10°C.
Winter: Winter care presents no problems at 10° C with plenty of light. As soon as they are flowered 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.
Potting medium: 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. Re-pot every 2 years.
Pest and diseases: Huernia 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.
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. Seeds germinate quickly.
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 and withhold any water until they begin to shrivel or start growing again.
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