genus which includes 40-50 species of succulent plants, native to southern Africa; they have erect stems, or slightly prostrate at the base, which grow up to 30-40 cm of height, with a diameter of 5-6 cm, much ramified; they have a bright green colour and are completely covered by a thin down. In late summer, they produce flowers, often up to 15-20 cm of diameter, in star shape, with five fleshy lobes, of yellow, red or purple colour, often striated and covered by down.
The flowers of the stapeliae usually emit a very unpleasant smell, as for the pollination they attract the flies. After the flowers, we can see the fruits, long pods containing very many seeds, provided with a feathery wing, useful for dispersing them from the wind.
Exposure: place in a sunny position, taking care to move the plant to half shade in the hottest periods of the day, especially in the months of July and August. These plants can bear temperatures a few degrees below zero, but it is appropriate to keep them even in winter at 5-7 ° C.
Watering: from March to September, water regularly, leaving the soil dry between one watering and the other; during the cold months, water sporadically, leaving the plant completely dry when grown in a cold climate.
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Stapelia flavirostris: Reproduction
Soil: the stapelia prefer well drained and sandy soils, in order to obtain a good compound, mix two parts of universal soil with a part of sand and a part of lapillus or pumice with a fine grain size.
Multiplication: by seed, in spring; or by cutting, allowing the cuttings to dry up for 12-15 hours before rooting them in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts.
Parasites and diseases: pay close attention to cochineal.