THE STARFISH FLOWER - Stapelia flavopurpurea

THE STARFISH FLOWER - Stapelia flavopurpurea





The Starfish flower - Stapelia flavopurpurea is one of the plant kingdom's great oddities. Native to the regions of Namibia, Botswana and the Northern Cape of South Africa, it is a species of plant from the Apocynaceae family.

The most interesting feature of this species is it striking, starfish shaped flowers which are produced by the plant in summer or autumn, depending on the seasonal temperatures. They range from a bright yellow to greenish colour and have a fragrance reminiscent of liquorice. However, others believe it is more like beeswax!

THE STARFISH FLOWER - Stapelia flavopurpurea
The genus name 'Stapelia' was named after Johannes van Stapel, who published drawings and descriptions of the first Stapelia discovered - Orbea variegata. The species name 'flavopurpurea' derives from the Latin words 'flavus' meaning 'yellow' and 'purpureus' meaning 'purple.

The Starfish flower is not hardy and so if you are growing it in northern Europe then you will need to keep under protection as you would a typical house plant. While it may look like a cactus it is in fact a perennial succulent. It can be grown in a standard cactus compost, in bright, filtered light, with low humidity. During the growing season it can be watered moderately and fed every two or three weeks with a balanced liquid feed. Keep almost dry in the winter but water sparingly occasionally to prevent the stems from wrinkling.

The Starfish flower is easily propagated by taking cuttings of stem sections after the plant has flowered, but allow cut surface to callous over before planting.

For related article click onto the following links:
ARIOCARPUS AGAVOIDES
GASTERIA maculata
HOW TO CARE FOR THE JADE PLANT
HOW TO GROW AECHMEA FASCIATA
How to Grow the Brain Cactus
HOW TO GROW DELOSPERMA COOPERI
HOW TO GROW MESEMBRYANTHEMUM FROM SEED
HOW TO GROW PORTULACA GRANDIFLORA - THE SUN PLANT
The Brain Cactus -  Mammillaria elongata 'Cristata'
EUPHORBIA OBESA - The baseball plant
HOW TO GROW PEYOTE FROM SEEDS
HOW TO GROW PORTULACA FROM SEED
Sulcorebutia rauschii
THE BISHOPS CAP CACTUS - Astrophytum ornatum
THE HAPPY ALIEN PLANT - Calceolaria uniflora
THE ORCHID CACTUS - Disocactus ackermannii
The Starfish Flower - Stapelia flavopurpurea

No comments: