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Orbea namaquensis (Namaqua Orbea)

Orbea namaquensis (Namaqua Orbea)


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Scientific Name

Orbea namaquensis (N.E.Br.) L.C.Leach

Common Names

Namaqua Orbea

Synonyms

Stapelia namaquensis, Ceropegia namaquana

Scientific Classification

Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Tribe: Ceropegieae
Subtribe: Stapeliinae
Genus: Orbea

Description

Orbea namaquensis is a leafless perennial, clumping or mat-forming succulent up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) tall. The short stems are sometimes almost cylindrical, up to 0.7 inch (1.8 cm) thick, excluding the teeth, shortly prostrate and then decumbent, 4-angled, green and prettily marked with irregular purple stripes where exposed to the sun. The flowers are produced in succession on lower stem, pale greenish yellow, irregularly marked with dark purple-brown and up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.

Photo via seedsexotic.ru

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Several species are fairly easy to grow. Others, often those with slightly hairy stems and the more unusual flowers, are more challenging and require careful watering (with some fertilizer) during the growing season and complete withdrawal of water during the winter months. A minimum winter temperature of 10°C (50°F) is acceptable, providing that plants are kept absolutely dry. A heated growing bench or incubator may help delicate plants to get through the colder months. However, many species live under shrubs in habitat and prefer light shade rather than full sun.

A gritty compost is essential, and clay pots are advisable for the more delicate species. Some growers prefer a mineral-only compost to minimize the chance of fungal attack on the roots. A layer of grit on the surface of the compost prevents moisture from accumulating around the base of the stems.

Keeping Stapelias and their roots free of pests such as mealy bugs is the real key to success as fungal attack often occurs as a result of damage to stems by insects… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Stapelia

Origin

It is native to South Africa.

Links

  • Back to genus Orbea
  • Succulentopedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus

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Cultivation of Orbeas

Cultivation of many Orbeas is not difficult. Orbea variegata is a well known cottage windowsill plant. Most species require careful watering (rain water with some fertiliser) during the growing season and complete withdrawal of water during the winter months. A minimum winter temperature of 10°C is acceptable, providing that plants are kept absolutely dry. A heated growing bench or incubator may help delicate plants to get throught the colder months. Many species of Orbea live under shrubs in habitat and prefer light shade rather than full sun, although stems may not colour up under shady conditions.

A gritty free-draining compost is essential, and clay pots are advisable for the more delicate species. Some growers prefer a mineral-only compost to minimise the chance of fungal attack on the roots. A layer of grit on the surface of the compost prevents moisture from accumulating around the base of the stems.

Keeping Stapeliads and their roots free of pests such as mealy bugs is the real key to success, as fungal attack often occurs as a result of damage to stems by insects. Watering with a good systemic insecticide such as those based on imidachloprid should help to keep plants free from insects.


Orbea namaquensis (Namaqua Orbea) - garden

Accepted Scientific Name: Orbea namaquensis (N.E.Br.) L.C.Leach
Kirkia 10: 290 1975

Origin and Habitat: Orbea namaquensis is restricted to Namaqualand (Northern Cape) in the northwestern corner of South Africa where it can become locally quite common.
Habitat and ecology: It growos together with a rich succulent flora comprising Stapelia pulvinata, Stapelia barklyi, Bulbine praemorsa, Tylecodon wallichii, Tylecodon racemosus, Tylecodon reticulatus, Lampranthus hoerleianus, Antimima radicans, and Ottosonderia monticola.

Description: Orbea namaquensis, firstly described as Stapelia namaquensis by N. E. Brown in 1882, is a leafless perennial forming small clumps or mats. The stems are very similar to those of Orbea ciliata with stout conic teeth loosely arranged in 4 rows, but the flowers are different. 1-4 flower up to 10 cm in diameter are produced in succession on lower stem, inside they are irregularly transversely ridged, pale greenish yellow, irregularly marked with dark purple-brown. The annulus almost as wide as limb, is finely tuberculate, with margin completely recurved. This species appear to be very variable in colour, ciliation and outer corona-lobes as the related Orbea variegata, from which it mainly differs in the internal flower structures and the annulus.
Stems: Short, stout, sometimes almost cylindrical, 4-8 cm long, 15-18 mm thick, excluding the teeth, squat, shortly prostrate and then decumbent, distinctly 4-angled. Tubercles (teeth) stout, 3-10 mm long, spreading,conical, acute, glabrous, green, prettily marked with irregular purple stripes where exposed to the sun.
Leaves: Rudiments hardened.
Inflorescences: 1- to 4-flowered, near the base or middle of the young stems. Flowers successively developed.
Flowers: Pedicels, glabrous, striped with darker purple-red, 2 mm long, 0.5 mm in diameter. Sepals 4-6 mm long, 2.5 mm, ovate, acuminate, glabrous. Corolla in bud depressed-pentagonal with a very acuminate point, when expanded 7.5 - 10 cm across, basin-shaped, tube embracing the corona, shortly hairy at the base, pale greenish-yellow, vertically broadly streaked with dark red-brown, partly marked with confluent spots or reticulate. Annulus large, almost as wide as limb, very prominent solid-looking, fleshy, margin extremely recurved or revolute so as to be nearly circular in transverse section, and the bottom of its cup densely covered with short erect stiff purple-brown hairs and minutely tuberculate-rugose. Back smooth and glabrous. Corolla-lobes 3 x 2.5 cm, divaricate, revolute, not ciliate or sometimes finely ciliate, inner surface plicate-rugose or papillose, papillae, pale greenish-yellow, everywhere covered with dark purple-brown thick transverse lines or rounded or transverse or confluent spots or labyrinthine markings.
Corona yellow with red-brown spots. Outer corona-lobes elongate-rectangular, 6-8 mm long, 1.5 mm wide, ribbon-like, spreading then ascending, attenuate entire to trifid , acute, yellow, dotted with purple-brown. Inner corona-lobes 3.5-5 x 1 mm, narrowly ovate, erect, apical appendage filiform, clavate, overtopping the style head, sometimes tips revolute, partly with a dorsal hump, but without an outer horn. Nectar slit drop-shaped. Pollinia 0.8 x 0.5 min, bean-shaped.
Blooming season: Summer-autumn and the flowers remain expanded for 3–4 days.
Fruits (follicles): to 15 cm, 1,8 cm thick, subparallel, fusiform, acuminate, glabrous.
Chromosome number: 2n = 22

Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Focke Albers, Ulrich Meve “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Asclepiadaceae: Asclepiadaceae”Volume 4 Springer, 2002
2) N. E. Brown “Flora Capensis” Vol 4, 1909
3) “Hooker's Scones Plantarum” 1908 (1890)
4) Lückhoff “The Stapelieae of southern Africa” 153 (1952)
5) Lamb & Lamb, “Illustrated reference on cacti and other succulents” 3: 881 (1963)
6) Court, “Succulent flora of southern Africa” 141 (1981)
7) 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 August 2011
8) Ernst Van Jaarsveld, Ben-Erik Van Wyk, Gideon Smith “Succulents of South Africa: A Guide to the Regional Diversity”Tafelberg, 2000
9) John Manning “Field Guide to Wild Flowers of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland” Struik Nature, 2009
10) Matlamela, P.F. & Kamundi, D.A. 2006. Orbea namaquensis (N.E.Br.) L.C.Leach. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2015.1. Accessed on 2016/05/20
11) F. Albers and U. Meve “Mixoplidy and cytotyped: a study of possible vegetative species differentiation in stapeliads (Asclepiadaceae)” Bothalia 21(1): 67-72 (1991)

Cultivation and Propagation: Orbea namaquensis is one of the easiest stapeliads to grow. It like a half-sun or shaded position (never grow in too harsh sun), very resistant to heat will also tolerate quite cold temperatures but avoid frost, best in a ventilated environment. It is quite resistant to the “Balck spot” disease of Asclepiads, Water regularly during the growing season, keep dry in winter. Use a gritty, well-drained soil.
Propagation: It is easily propagated by removing a cutting, sometimes with roots attached, in spring and summer, but seeds germinate readily if they are sown when fresh.


Orbea namaquensis (Namaqua Orbea) - garden

Origin and Habitat: Orbea namaquensis is restricted to Namaqualand (Northern Cape) in the northwestern corner of South Africa where it can become locally quite common.
Habitat and ecology: It growos together with a rich succulent flora comprising Stapelia pulvinata, Stapelia barklyi, Bulbine praemorsa, Tylecodon wallichii, Tylecodon racemosus, Tylecodon reticulatus, Lampranthus hoerleianus, Antimima radicans, and Ottosonderia monticola.

Description: Orbea namaquensis, firstly described as Stapelia namaquensis by N. E. Brown in 1882, is a leafless perennial forming small clumps or mats. The stems are very similar to those of Orbea ciliata with stout conic teeth loosely arranged in 4 rows, but the flowers are different. 1-4 flower up to 10 cm in diameter are produced in succession on lower stem, inside they are irregularly transversely ridged, pale greenish yellow, irregularly marked with dark purple-brown. The annulus almost as wide as limb, is finely tuberculate, with margin completely recurved. This species appear to be very variable in colour, ciliation and outer corona-lobes as the related Orbea variegata, from which it mainly differs in the internal flower structures and the annulus.
Stems: Short, stout, sometimes almost cylindrical, 4-8 cm long, 15-18 mm thick, excluding the teeth, squat, shortly prostrate and then decumbent, distinctly 4-angled. Tubercles (teeth) stout, 3-10 mm long, spreading,conical, acute, glabrous, green, prettily marked with irregular purple stripes where exposed to the sun.
Leaves: Rudiments hardened.
Inflorescences: 1- to 4-flowered, near the base or middle of the young stems. Flowers successively developed.
Flowers: Pedicels, glabrous, striped with darker purple-red, 2 mm long, 0.5 mm in diameter. Sepals 4-6 mm long, 2.5 mm, ovate, acuminate, glabrous. Corolla in bud depressed-pentagonal with a very acuminate point, when expanded 7.5 - 10 cm across, basin-shaped, tube embracing the corona, shortly hairy at the base, pale greenish-yellow, vertically broadly streaked with dark red-brown, partly marked with confluent spots or reticulate. Annulus large, almost as wide as limb, very prominent solid-looking, fleshy, margin extremely recurved or revolute so as to be nearly circular in transverse section, and the bottom of its cup densely covered with short erect stiff purple-brown hairs and minutely tuberculate-rugose. Back smooth and glabrous. Corolla-lobes 3 x 2.5 cm, divaricate, revolute, not ciliate or sometimes finely ciliate, inner surface plicate-rugose or papillose, papillae, pale greenish-yellow, everywhere covered with dark purple-brown thick transverse lines or rounded or transverse or confluent spots or labyrinthine markings.
Corona yellow with red-brown spots. Outer corona-lobes elongate-rectangular, 6-8 mm long, 1.5 mm wide, ribbon-like, spreading then ascending, attenuate entire to trifid , acute, yellow, dotted with purple-brown. Inner corona-lobes 3.5-5 x 1 mm, narrowly ovate, erect, apical appendage filiform, clavate, overtopping the style head, sometimes tips revolute, partly with a dorsal hump, but without an outer horn. Nectar slit drop-shaped. Pollinia 0.8 x 0.5 min, bean-shaped.
Blooming season: Summer-autumn and the flowers remain expanded for 3–4 days.
Fruits (follicles): to 15 cm, 1,8 cm thick, subparallel, fusiform, acuminate, glabrous.
Chromosome number: 2n = 22

Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Focke Albers, Ulrich Meve “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Asclepiadaceae: Asclepiadaceae”Volume 4 Springer, 2002
2) N. E. Brown “Flora Capensis” Vol 4, 1909
3) “Hooker's Scones Plantarum” 1908 (1890)
4) Lückhoff “The Stapelieae of southern Africa” 153 (1952)
5) Lamb & Lamb, “Illustrated reference on cacti and other succulents” 3: 881 (1963)
6) Court, “Succulent flora of southern Africa” 141 (1981)
7) 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 August 2011
8) Ernst Van Jaarsveld, Ben-Erik Van Wyk, Gideon Smith “Succulents of South Africa: A Guide to the Regional Diversity”Tafelberg, 2000
9) John Manning “Field Guide to Wild Flowers of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland” Struik Nature, 2009
10) Matlamela, P.F. & Kamundi, D.A. 2006. Orbea namaquensis (N.E.Br.) L.C.Leach. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2015.1. Accessed on 2016/05/20
11) F. Albers and U. Meve “Mixoplidy and cytotyped: a study of possible vegetative species differentiation in stapeliads (Asclepiadaceae)” Bothalia 21(1): 67-72 (1991)

Cultivation and Propagation: Orbea namaquensis is one of the easiest stapeliads to grow. It like a half-sun or shaded position (never grow in too harsh sun), very resistant to heat will also tolerate quite cold temperatures but avoid frost, best in a ventilated environment. It is quite resistant to the “Balck spot” disease of Asclepiads, Water regularly during the growing season, keep dry in winter. Use a gritty, well-drained soil.
Propagation: It is easily propagated by removing a cutting, sometimes with roots attached, in spring and summer, but seeds germinate readily if they are sown when fresh.


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