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Origin and Habitat: Huernia plowesii is known from 4–10 subpopulations scattered on the Tiras Mountains south of Helmering-hausen, Namibia (extent of occurrence less 3,750 km²).
Altitude range: 1400 - 1950 metres above sea level.
Habitat and Ecology: This species is found in crevices between rocks and on granite hills, usually under bushes (mainly Ruschia divaricata) or in crevices between rocks forming dense mats. The population is assumed to be stable at present, however, collecting is a potential threat.
- Huernia plowesii L.C.Leach
ARABIC ( لعربية ): ربض بلوسي
Description: Huernia plowesii, first described in 1988 (as was Huernia thudichumii) is an extremely neat little species with distinctive pattern on the star shaped flowers. It does not make a large flower, but the solid purple-brown annulus distinctly blotched with cream-coloured mark on its outer edge still make it a standout bloom.
Habit: Perennial stem succulent plant forming small clumps or mats 2 to 3 cm tall and up to 20 cm in diameter (or more).
Stem: Short, erect or ascending, 4-angled, acutely toothed and almost pyramidal in shape up to 3 cm tall.
Flowers: Single with short pedicels (max. 1 cm long). Sepals 5-6 mm long, 2 mm broad. Corolla 25-35 mm across, the tube pentagonal, purple-brown, the annulus very prominent, about 5 mm high, solid purple-brown with a few cream-coloured marks on its outer edge, with long stiff hairs scattered in the tube throat and on the annulus. Corolla lobes are spreading, cream with rather distant chestnut-brown spots, finely pubescent. Crown about 6 mm in diameter, tip near triangular, tapering, slightly wider than long, apically. Lobes spreading outward, basally hairless and weakly hairy towards the apex.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Huernia plowesii group
- Huernia plowesii L.C.Leach: has purple-brown annulus blotched with yellowish mark on its outer edge. Lobes cream with distant chestnut-brown spots, finely pubescent. Distribution: Tiras Mountains, Namibia.
- Huernia plowesii x zebrina hort.: Is a man made hand pollinated Huernia hybrid involving H. plowesii and H. zebrina. It shows intermediate features between both the parents.
Bibliography: Major refrerences and further lectures
1) L. C. Leach “Excelsa” Taxon. Ser. 4: 134-136 1988
2) Focke Albers, Ulrich Meve “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Asclepiadaceae: Asclepiadaceae” Volume 4 Springer, 2002
3) Doreen Court “Succulent Flora of Southern Africa” CRC Press, 01/Jun/2000
4) 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/Aug/2011
5) Bruyns, P.V. 2005. “Stapeliads of southern Africa and Madagascar.” Vol. II. Umdaus Press, Hatfield.
6) Craven, P. 2004. Huernia plowesii. The “IUCN Red List of Threatened Species”. Version 2014.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 22 July 2014.
Huernia plowesii Photo by: Julio C. García
Huernia plowesii Photo by: Luiza Ferreira
Huernia plowesii 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 plowesii isn't difficult to grow and flower.
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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