Cultivation

Some Stapelieae such as Hoodia (19.13), grow out in the full desert sun, and are extraordinarily resistant todrought. Most, however, seek out the shade, hiding like Ceropegia beneath shrubs, so that they often turn up when least expected. "Shrub lifting" becomes second nature to the field botanist in search of them. In cultivation they should all be treated as rather tender. Although some are almost as tough as Orbea variegata. which will thrive on a sunny windowsill or in a cool house in company with cacti, most seem generally happier with a of about I0°C (50°F). They are susceptible than most succulents t<

Above (19.10): Edithcolea grandis fa

Atrica and Socotra produces a bloom 10cm (4in] across II prefers California sunshine to the cooler, moister climate of Europe.

Below (19.11): Stapelia gigantea has the largest bloom of all Stapelieae, ranging from 30-45cm (1-tyjt) across the lips of the petals. This one has an unusually pale flower

which is visible either as soft blackish patches or by a browning and drying up at the stem base, so that a clump is quickly reduced to a handful of cuttings. Regular inspection is needed. As soon as signs of rot are seen, the affected area should be cut back to green tissue, the surface dusted with flowers of sulphur or other fungicide in powder form, and the plant or cuttings left on a dry. airy shelf for the wounds to heal over. Some growers recommend regular overhead waterings with a liquid fungicide (Chinosol. Ches-hunt Compound) or with a systemic fungicide during the growing season to discourage infection. Rarities are grafted on tubers of Ceropegia woodii for the

Seed raising is not too difficult if the same precautions are taken, and is the best way to raise Hoodia. Tavaresia and Trichocaulon. because cuttings are difficult to root and imported plants, when available, rarely re-establish. Seed can germinate in three or four days, and seedlings may be large enough to pot singly at the end of the first year.

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