CEROPEGIA AMPLIATA - the Bushman's pipe

CEROPEGIA AMPLIATA - the Bushman's pipe

Looking like a cross between an albino pitcher plant and one of wolverines retractable claws, Ceropegia ampliata is one of nature's great oddities.

Native to the south African regions of the Transvaal, Natal, and the Cape province, it is a relative newcomer to the world of Horticulture having only been discovered in 1830 by J.F. Drège - a German horticulturist, botanical collector and explorer.

CEROPEGIA AMPLIATA - the Bushman's pipe
In its natural habitat, it is found on dry, stony hillsides, twining in amongst the other vegetation. However, when not in flower, Ceropegia ampliata is very difficult to detect among the surrounding plants. This is no bad thing as the flowers emit a fragrance reminiscent of rotting flesh, a necessary adaptation required to attract pollinating insects.

Seldom cultivated and grown mainly by collectors, the bizarre looking Ceropegia ampliata has two outstanding features.

The first are its freakish looking flowers, which have evolved for the temporary capture of the previously mentioned pollinating insects.

The second is the apparent lack of visible leaves.

Commonly known as the Bushman's Pipe, Ceropegia ampliata is a perennial twiner or scrambler with a succulent stem that arises from a fleshy, tuberous rootstock.

Given the right conditions it will flower copiously in the autumn, completely covering the plant with large white and green tubular flowers.

For related articles click onto the following links:
CEROPEGIA AMPLIATA - the Bushman's pipe
HOW TO GROW THE BUSHMAN'S PIPE - ceropegia ampliata
THE EYEBALL PLANT - Actaea pachypoda

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