Huernia korat ‘Star’
Scientific name: Huernia korat ‘Star’
Common names: Starfish Flowers, Carrion Flowers
Natural habitat: This hybrid is of Asian origin and is highly popular among collectors globally. It’s primarily grown as a collection plant.
Flowers: The Huernia korat ‘Star’ flower is notable for its pentagonal, star-shaped bloom approximately 2 inches (5 centimeters) in diameter. It displays creamy yellow petals mottled with reddish-brown spots and encloses a deep maroon to black center that resembles a dark orifice. The texture inside the bloom is velvety, with fine hair-like structures, a characteristic feature to attract pollinators.
Stems: The plant develops succulent stems, about 10 cm (approximately 4 inches) tall, with 4-5 pronounced vertical ribs. The edges of these ribs feature numerous triangular teeth, each about 0.5 cm (about 0.2 inches) long, with small, fully green, spatulate leaves at the ends. The stems are grayish-green with brownish or purplish marks when exposed to intense light, like the sun.
The flower of the Huernia korat ‘Star’ is quite distinctive and has a captivating aesthetic. It features a five-pointed star shape, which is typical for the genus Huernia. The petals are broad with slightly curved edges, creating a pentagonal outline. The color is a creamy yellow, densely speckled with fine reddish-brown spots, giving it a textured appearance. At the center, there is a deep, maroon to almost black, circular orifice that leads into the flower’s interior. The inside of the flower has a velvety appearance, and you can notice small, hair-like structures within. This striking contrast of colors and patterns makes the flower not only interesting but also quite beautiful in its own unique way. The Huernia flower’s appearance is a result of its adaptation to attract pollinators like flies, which are drawn to its colors and patterns that mimic decaying flesh.
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: Huernia korat ‘Star’