Introduction to Ceropegias

Among cactus and succulent growers, ceropegias are known for their most unusual flowers. They are asclepiads, a part of the milkweed family, but their sap, unlike the milkweed, runs clear. Species occur from the Canary Islands in the West to Australia and the Phillipines in the East; most of the species coming from tropical Africa, Madagascar, Arabia, and India; some from as far north as Nepal. I should also mention that almost all of the plants are vines that either trail or climb, the plants from the Canary Islands being the exception (those plants are more shrub-like, being a vertical mass of thick stems). Some have roots others grow from tubers; most have leaves during some part of their growing cycle, some of which are interestingly marbled, yet there are leafless ceropegias that look simply like green spaghetti or gnarly mottled greenish taffy. Once you have seen the site you will have a better idea of what these plants are like.

September 2002 - Many new pictures have just been added to this part of the journal. There are new ceropegias, monteroie and stenantha; grandis will arrive soon. I'm also taking pictures of the insides of the flowers, look at sandersonii, radicans, haygarthii and arabica; ampliata will soon follow.

This space will eventually show a ceropegia map. This part of my website is intended as a photographic journal devoted to the collection and cultivation of ceropegias. These asclepiads have long been a source of fascination for me. The varied sculptural flower forms and their exotic coloring are so unlike the typical flowers we see everyday, they seem almost like underwater animals. My collection has grown to about forty species and a few hybrids, some of which have occurred naturally in my garden. (There are more comments on seedlings under the propagation heading in the Ceropegia list.) Hope you enjoy your visit to the Ceropegia Journal.