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Bernieh's Garden

Stapelia - Snake Plant

Species: Stapelia.

Common name: Snake Plant or Carrion Flowers
Botanic name: Stapelia
Family: Apocynaceae

Stapelias are low, perennial succulents, native to the arid regions of tropical and southern Africa. The stems, their surface and branching make them immediately recognizable. The stems are almost always erect and are usually uniformly green to reddish, depending on the extent of exposure to the sun.

The flowers are star-shaped. Large-flowered species bear their flowers usually at or near the base of the plant. The flowers of the smaller-flowered species are usually dispersed at various heights on the stems, sometimes at the base. Flowers in an inflorescence generally open in succession. The flowers are extremely variable in size (6-400 mm across), but there is usually little variation in the shape, invariably being almost flat and deeply lobed.

In general they are drought-resistant succulents suited for rockeries and the small-flowered species are suitable as container plants. They are excellent subjects for a water-wise garden.

They like a sunny position and will also grow in light, semishade in hot climates. The soil should have good drainage. Most species do best in a well-drained, sandy medium consisting of equal parts of washed river sand, potting soil and topsoil.

Provided that they are not over-watered and are given a warm position, stapelias will flower successfully.

Photos of this plant

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