Ceropegia rupicola

Ceropegia rupicola comes from Yemen and has been known since 1889. The name means 'inhabits rocky places'.

It is a plant with succulent leaves and very thick trailling stems. I am growing it in my ceropegia mix and it does very well, resting, leafless, during the winter. It was with this plant that I discovered how to make ceropegias bloom where you could see them and not have miles of vine to tie up. Rupicola was always getting about 4 feet long and then would bloom poorly at the end of its new growth. I decided that I would just cut it back so that it would be portable in a 4 inch pot. To my surprise the next growth formed branches and buds, lots of them.

In this closeup you can see the unusual barbell shaped flowers with their tiny slit openings. The open flowers are 1.25 to 1.5 inches tall and about .5 inch in diameter at the widest part.

September 99 update- My plants went 'dormant' after last winter. I kept them in the greenhouse (instead of bringing them into the house) which was just a little too cold; a couple of the rupicolas rotted and I fought all winter just to get roots on the remaining piece of a plant. It finally began to grow slowly after a very hot July. It tried to bloom once and just as the buds began to inflate they fell off of the plant. It has now grown another few inches and has new buds forming, I'll post a picture here when they open.