Ceropegia africana ssp. barklyi

This plant is native to South Africa: Transvaal, Natal, and Transkei. It has been known since 1877.

This plant grows from a tuber and has succulent, marbled leaves. The vines climb a short distance before blooming and the tuber is dormant during the winter. The flowers, wtth joined corolla lobes of chartreuse, usually appear in Summer. These photos are shot on a grid of 1 inch squares to give you an idea of the plant-part sizes.

I'm growing this plant in a 4 inch pot with a trellis made of bent galvanized wire about a foot tall. Last year the plant climbed the trellis to the top. I'm photographed this year's growth today August 10, 2006 and I think it will make it to the top by the end of summer.

I've been growing this plant for about 4 years. It is relatively easy to maintain being less sensitive to watering irregularities and tolerating high humidity while dormant. It is outside in a spot of half day sun and gets rained on and watered with all the other non succulent plants beside the greenhouse. I noticed today that the cancellata was dead and the rendallii is suffering with the abundance of water, I took it inside the greenhouse where it would only have to deal with humidity.

I think it is strange how some of the tubers will look like they are dormant or even have full growing vines while there is nothing left but the very thin tuber skin. One touch and it collapses into a dry empty space. That's what happened to the cancellata. I clipped a piece of the rendallii to propagate because the tuber seems to be soft and wrinkled, looking like it's on its way to rotting completely.

This year I repotted the tubers and have sprinkled a little nutrikote on them as fertilizer. The Nutrakote is not going to "dump" all the nutrients at once when the weather warms like osmocote does. I'm hoping the plants will benefit from the slower feeding.

I sliced through the flower and was surprised by the rich red wine color of the corolla tube, there are the typical hairs where the tube narrows. I can't imagine there's much room for a pollinating insect in the bulb because the corona lobes are really large.

Here are some shots of the very small corona.