Scientific name: Caralluma stalagmifera
Common names: Dark Purple Caralluma, Starfish Flowers, Carrion Flowers
Natural habitat: Caralluma stalagmifera is distributed primarily in Southern India, particularly in dry and rocky regions. It is native to the Indian Subcontinent in Asia-Tropical, with its type locality being Vandalur in Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Flowers: The flowers of Caralluma stalagmifera are hermaphroditic and star-shaped, initially dark purple with purplish-yellow tips, turning brownish-green after 8-12 days. They exhibit radial symmetry with a fleshy, wheel-shaped corolla that is dark cream to dark purple inside. The flower is about 12 mm (1/2″) long and 8-10 mm (0.3-0.4″) in diameter, with unique features resembling stalagmites, hence the species name.
Stems: Succulent, hairless stems with clear exudates, slightly branched, and can grow up to about 60 cm (approximately 24 inches) long. The stems are square in cross-section with rounded edges, greenish to greyish-green with brown mottling and often reddish-brown edges
The Caralluma stalagmifera, also known as the Dark Purple Caralluma, is a perennial succulent that showcases the exotic beauty of Southern India’s flora. Renowned for its striking dark purple flowers that transition to a unique brownish-green hue, this plant adds an element of intrigue to any succulent collection. Thriving in dry, rocky habitats, it is a testament to nature’s resilience and adaptability. Ideal for succulent enthusiasts and collectors, Caralluma stalagmifera offers an extraordinary visual and textural experience, making it a fascinating addition to diverse plant displays.
General Care for Stapeliads
Stapeliads are a unique group of succulent plants known for their striking flowers and interesting forms. They belong to the Apocynaceae family and are mostly native to Africa, with some species found in Asia and the Middle East. Here’s a general guide to caring for Stapeliads:
- Lighting: Stapeliads thrive in bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can be harmful, especially during the hottest parts of the day. A partially shaded spot is ideal.
- Watering: These plants require moderate watering. Allow the soil to completely dry out between waterings. Over-watering can lead to root rot, so it’s essential to ensure good drainage.
- Soil: Use a well-draining cactus or succulent mix. Stapeliads prefer a soil mix that allows for good air circulation around the roots.
- Temperature: Most Stapeliads prefer warm temperatures and are not tolerant of frost. Keep them in temperatures above 6-8°C (43-46°F).
- Humidity: Stapeliads generally do well in average room humidity. However, during the growing season, a slight increase in humidity can promote healthier growth.
- Fertilization: Feed sparingly during the growing season. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer at half strength.
- Propagation: Propagation can be done through stem cuttings or seeds. Allow cuttings to dry before planting.
- Pests and Diseases: Watch out for pests like mealybugs and take precautions against snails and slugs. Stapeliads are generally resistant to diseases if well taken care of.
Specification: Caralluma stalagmifera