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Orbea variegata

Orbea variegata


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Succulentopedia

Orbea variegata (Starfish Plant)

Orbea variegata (Starfish Plant), formerly known as Stapelia variegata, is a popular branched succulent with erect or prostrate stems that…


Ceropegia Species, Starfish Cactus, Toad Cactus

Family: Apocynaceae (a-pos-ih-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ceropegia (seer-oh-PEEJ-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: mixta (MIKS-tuh) (Info)
Synonym:Orbea mixta
Synonym:Orbea variegata
Synonym:Stapelia variegata

Category:

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Foliage:

Foliage Color:

Height:

Spacing:

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers

Danger:

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant break open to collect seeds

Regional

This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Gardeners' Notes:

On Jan 28, 2015, poeciliopsis from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Central Phoenix -- Orbea variegata grows in the ground and in pots in my garden. Most of the plants are all over 15 years old and have weathered many freezes into the lower 20s. Some have protection (cold frame) but others don't and do not suffer frost damage. Shade varies from light to moderate and water from once a month to very seldom.

On Oct 11, 2014, Mark_B from Garden Grove, CA wrote:

This is a beautiful plant that grows well in Southern California. In our winters here, they just hunker down outdoors, no problem. The flowers smell like a bag of steer manure, which to gardeners is no big deal. But to neophytes, the smell might offend. Any plants you don't want because of the smell, you can give them to me, no questions asked.

On Sep 8, 2013, httpmom from Livermore, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

What's not to love about this amazing bit of Botany? It's exotic as hell, blooms are other worldly as are the pods that form and then one unexpecting day burst open and releases 50 or so seeds to get blown about. plus it's very easy to grow in Zone 9b. I have it in a pot on my front porch in partial shade. It does not need to be taken in during winter here, withstood a three week freeze last winter and came back healthier than ever this spring.

On Sep 15, 2004, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

I guess this note goes for all stapelia's.
This plant is definately not drought tolerant. I guess that all depends on what you consider drought.
We went four months without a drop of rain this summer in Phoenix, 110F in the shade, If I hadn't of watered it once a week. well you can guess what would happen.

On Apr 9, 2004, angelam from melbourne,
Australia wrote:

I have this in a pot of cactus mix where it has grown and flowered with minimal attention. It does seem to like a little protection from the worst of the sun- the partially shaded side of the pot is noticeably healthier looking than the side exposed to full afternoon sun. Are the flowers the ''variegata'' part of the name? Some of mine have 6 points and some 5.

On Oct 26, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

Ah. I have a black and white picture of this flower (I donґt have any idea of how I got this picture) and I always wondered how it would like, what color would it be, and all. Seeing the pictures of it here in the PDB really fulfilled my expectations!

On Oct 26, 2003, wnstarr from Puyallup, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Edgewood, Washington
How nice to see an old friend. My grandfather had this plant and called it the "Carrion Cactus". When in bloom and you get close to it you will definately know why. It smells like a dead animal to attrack the flies in the desert to pollinate the flower. If it is pollinated it will form a long thin seed pod that will ripen and open to expose down thistle like seeds to spead across the desert. Makes a interesting addition to any succulent & cactus collection even when not in bloom. Believe it is correctly called a succulent, but by any other name it is very interesting.

On Sep 18, 2003, miseryschild from Monterey, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Mine was a small start given to me by a friend. My oldest daughter almost drowned it two years ago, but with a lot of "TLC" it survived and is doing great, although it hasn't bloomed yet.

On Dec 31, 2002, puntaquita from Tucson, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

I began growing this plant from a single cutting about 1/2" long and it grew fast! I had plants growing all over my new cactus garden. I counted 35 flowers/buds one morning last October. I gave away many cuttings, some with a flower, with a great deal of pride and enthusiasm.

I have since moved from the southern Pacific Coast to the desert however, I brought a few cuttings with me and they
survived the trip with blooms intact!


Orbea variegata, Stapelia variegata - care tips

Stapelias form a very interesting group within the succulents. Their bizarre-looking flower is represented in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes. Most of the flowers come in color combinations of dark red and bright yellow, where drawing and pattern can be very different. In a sheltered rock garden, under exposed cliffs or even in the winter garden, a Stapelia variegata makes itself very good, but also in the house or on the balcony, they are easy to cultivate.
Characteristics

  • botanical name: Orbea variegata (or Stapelia variegata)
  • other names: Aasblume, Ordensstern, Kokardenblume
  • belongs to the silk plants
  • Leafless, succulent stem succulent branching from the base
  • fleshy, soft quadrangular shoot axes with pointed teeth
  • Flowers: 60-80 mm in diameter with 5 leaves and a raised disc in the middle
  • Flower color: very variable, often dark red or brown tones in combination with yellow
  • Flowers smell unpleasant (after carrion)
  • Growth height: rarely higher than 20 cm, overhanging in old age
Species and occurrence
Orbea variegata formerly belonged to the genus Stapelia, but then it was regrouped and is now assigned to the genus Orbea. Orbea variegata is probably the best known of the many Orbea species and has been cultivated for a long time (from about 1650). Originally, the plant is native to South Africa and grows there in the winter rainfall along the coastline. In addition, some species occur in Australia and the Indian region.
Location
In direct sunlight, the Orbea variegata flowers very abundantly and tolerates great heat. At noon, she is happy about a little shade. It also thrives well in shadow areas, but flowers a little less. The sturdy plant tolerates when it is strong and healthy, even slight frosts.
  • Lighting conditions: full sun to light shade
  • Soil: gritty (sandy), well drained soil
  • pH value: neutral to slightly calcareous (7.5 to 8.5)
  • slightly humic
  • good air circulation
dormancy
The juicy nature of the stems allows the plants to go into hibernation during the year when there is not enough rainfall. She then lives off her reserves for some time. Even in our latitudes, she needs a rest period. It is important to know which region the plant comes from so that you can stop watering either in summer or in winter. Most orbea variegata available to us have their resting phase in winter.
  1. Origin South Africa (or Australia): dry season (rest) from May to September
  2. Origin India (Southeast Asia): dry season from November to April / May
Pouring and fertilizing
In the growth phase, a gardener should water the plant regularly, but more carefully than overly. It is important to always allow the soil to dry well between each watering. In winter, the Orbea variegata must be kept as dry as possible. The plants can live without water for a long time. A lack of water is easy to recognize that the juicy stems shrink. At the latest then it is time to add water to the plant before it is no longer able to recover. Long periods of rain are unproblematic with good drainage. Fertilization takes place every four weeks between April and August with 0.2% phosphate-stressed fertilizer or slow-release fertilizer.
substratum
Aasflowers are somewhat delicate with their substrate and are sensitive to waterlogging or poorly draining soils. If the roots are exposed to constant moisture, mold or the roots rot rotten. In addition, the plant tolerates no compact soil. The potting soil should always be well air permeable. Orbea variegata prefers a well-drained, sandy soil consisting of equal parts of the following materials:
  • Sand, clay granules (pumice granules)
  • Potting soil (or cactus soil)
  • Topsoil or mature compost
plants
Orbea variegata is suitable as a ground cover good for the rock garden or sunny and warm, rocky surfaces. However, most species are better cultivated as a container plant or in a flower basket, as they are only partially hardy. When planting container is to be noted that the Stapelie is a Flachwurzler. So it needs a rather flat, but sufficiently large vessel so that they can spread their roots unhindered. Repotting is necessary about every two to three years, but it is not necessary to plant in a larger pot if there is enough space left. Also important is an exchange of the substrate, so that the pH value in the soil does not rise and always sufficient nutrients are present. Tip: Because of the similar location and care conditions, cult stars are good to cultivate with cacti and other succulents.
multiply
Stapelia variegata can be easily propagated through cuttings or fresh seeds. The cuttings are cut after the active growth phase, before the plant enters its resting phase.
  • Time: Autumn (for the species that bloom in winter: spring)
  • Cut off the shoot with sufficient rooting
  • Insert in moist substrate
Cultivation from seeds
If the flower has been fertilized by flies, the winged seeds form in late summer or autumn in so-called bellows. The seeds are best sown fresh, because then they germinate more easily. The plants grow quickly and form after three years first flowers. Since most of the seeds are not pure, growing seed is always associated with a surprise for the gardener.
  • Time: spring
  • Substrate: Seramis (clay granules), sand and cactus soil (equal parts)
  • Moisten the substrate
  • Put seeds on
  • Lightly press
  • Light germ, do not cover with earth
  • in indoor greenhouse
  • alternatively cover with transparent plastic bag or glass
  • Germination temperature: room temperature (during the day 23-28° C, at night 20-22° C)
  • bright, but no direct sun
  • Germination time: 3-6 weeks
By the way: The seed shells sometimes adhere quite persistently to the fine seedlings. There they cause unsightly pressure points. Therefore, they are best removed carefully with a water-immersed brush or cotton swabs.
overwinter
In winter, most species of Orbea variegata have their resting season. During this time, they may only be poured very rarely and receive no fertilizer. The plant is best kept in a bright place at temperatures well below 18° C. Optimal are cold houses, greenhouses or bright, cool corridors (5-12° C). In very mild and sheltered locations, the carrion flowers can also hibernate outdoors. In cold winters, they must be carefully excavated and stored in a cool and dry place. Tip: The cooler the plant is in its resting phase, the less it must be poured.
Diseases and pests
Orbea variegata is quite resistant to the otherwise common in this genus fungal disease "Black Death". The shoots first get black spots and then die off at a rapid pace. The infection is favored by cool temperatures and high humidity. In the event of illness, infected parts of the plant must be cut off promptly and disposed of with household waste.
Conclusion of the editorship
Orbea variegata is quite robust and easy to cultivate. On a humus rich, well-drained soil in a partially shaded position, it can grow upholstered in the rock garden, in the tub or even in the room. In winter, the succulent plant needs a rest period. At this time it is set at 5-12° C, dry and bright. During flowering, the plant is most adept in a sunny spot outdoors, as the blossom smells unpleasantly of carrion.
Worth knowing about the Stapelia veriegata
The Stapelia variegata belongs to the succulents. But for the sake of simplicity, these flowers are often taken together with the cactus as succulents and succulent plants, because they have much in common. They love the heat and need little water. So also the Stapelia variegata, which is called in German "Aasblume". This unflattering name owes the flower its unpleasant odor. It emits a fragrance that is easily reminiscent of carrion and can be unpleasant for people with a sensitive sense of smell. For this smell, however, it compensates with your really beautiful flowers.
  • Stapelia variegata needs a temperature of 10° C upwards, there are no limits.
  • However, you should not plant them outside before the thermometer has exceeded 15° C.
  • You can also cultivate it very well as a houseplant.
  • The Stapelia variegata has a trunk from which develop various shoots or stems.
  • These thick, fleshy, green stems are often serrated on the edge and on the edge of these ramifications are then small leaves.
  • The flowers are large and star-shaped, often of a dark color, but they are also available in yellow, red and purple.
  • The biggest mistake you can make with this flower is excessive overgrowth. She is sensitive to that.
  • Dryness generally does not hurt you.
  • Too much water, however, forms on the stems black discoloration or it comes to a mold.
  • The infected stalk must then be removed, otherwise the plant will not recover.
  • Otherwise, Stapelia variegata is as insensitive as all succulents.


Cactus and Succulents forum→Stapelia and Orbea

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- Stapelia grandiflora (cutting)
- Orbea variegata (cutting)
- Orbea caudata (full plant)

I also want to order Huernia zebrina, but they're currently out of stock.

Just curious if anyone's worked with them, and what their experiences were. Are they fairly straightforward in their care, or do they tend to be finicky? Any special care requirements I should know about over other succulents? Are they easy to grow from cuttings?

I'm a bit nervous to order the two as cuttings, but that's the only option they have available right now. They're advertised as

2.5" cuttings. All are from a nursery in Ontario that only deals with succulents, and though I've never gotten anything from them before, they have good reviews so far.



Macrocentra said: Just curious if anyone here has experience growing plants from the Stapelia or Orbea genus?
I've wanted to try growing some of these for a while, and they're near the top of my list for plants. After lots of searching, I finally found some that are able to ship to my area. They're only about 1.5-2 hours away, so I might even go pick them up. Here's what I'm thinking of ordering:

- Stapelia grandiflora (cutting)
- Orbea variegata (cutting)
- Orbea caudata (full plant)

I also want to order Huernia zebrina, but they're currently out of stock.

Just curious if anyone's worked with them, and what their experiences were. Are they fairly straightforward in their care, or do they tend to be finicky? Any special care requirements I should know about over other succulents? Are they easy to grow from cuttings?

I'm a bit nervous to order the two as cuttings, but that's the only option they have available right now. They're advertised as

2.5" cuttings. All are from a nursery in Ontario that only deals with succulents, and though I've never gotten anything from them before, they have good reviews so far.

I have. Stapleia is fine, for the most part. Plant in any decent soil, it does its own thing. Kinda slow growing though(IME). Orbea , different story. Ive grown 2- decaisneana and variegata.
Decaisneana was slow growing, but more durable, and hardy/ Also bloomed/
Variegata is . different. Fast growing, but prone to etiolation, over and under watering, and less hardy. Not sure why, but I simply couldnt pull it off as a plant.


I just ordered:
- Stapelia grandiflora (cutting)
- Orbea variegata (cutting)
- Orbea caudata (full plant)
- Huernia schneideriana (larger cutting)

Going to give them a try and hope for the best.

When they arrive, should the cuttings be safe to put directly into soil?


Where are you shopping in Ontario? Curious if they ship to QC!
Thanks


I've found a couple places in Toronto and Mississauga that ship succulents.
I ordered these ones from 'Grow Something' in Toronto. Though a lot of things are out of stock at the moment, there's generally a lot of options.

There goes the rest of my morning :)
thank you!

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming. "WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org


There goes the rest of my morning :)
thank you!

Since you're in QC, have you ordered anything from Serres Lavoie by chance? They're in QC and also had some nice options. I was thinking of trying them out as well, as they ship to ON.


Looks like they should be pretty easy to get settled then!

Since you're in QC, have you ordered anything from Serres Lavoie by chance? They're in QC and also had some nice options. I was thinking of trying them out as well, as they ship to ON.

No I haven't, but I'll definitely check them out! Thanks


No I haven't, but I'll definitely check them out! Thanks

If you happen to try them out, let me know how it goes!

If you happen to try them out, let me know how it goes!

Oh wow I went to Serres Lavoie today and it was amazing. Like a museum.
For some reason I only took photos of the cacti and not the African succulents but I did succumb to temptation and take home a Crassula rupestris. a tiny one. Their plants are healthy and amazing and they have a lot of plants of different sizes of the same species, somebody there really loves succulents.


Watch the video: ORBEA VARIEGATA. Flor de Lagarto


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