Ayr Branch BCSS
April 2007 Meeting &
Plant of the Month Competition
MARVELS FOR MASOCHISTS - STAPELIADS
The title of this months talk was:- "Marvels for masochists", masochistic because it's tricky to keep Stapeliads, one moment they are growing well, turn your back and it's stone dead. There are not many monographs, that are up to date and there are lots of name changes. There is a brand new monograph being produced which is currently only 2/3 finished but this will only contain all the South African types. A future part will contain the rest, we are told this part is being worked on, so there is hope.
The plants have a large area of cultivation but mostly in South Africa. Stapelia variegata was the first plant to be discovered and was known as Fritillaria variegata. The Dutch were the main finders at the time C1687, and these were described at the Amsterdam Botanical Gardens. There were some very good drawings at the time and at the beginning they were all put in one genus (40).
All the flowers have five points, like a star, but occasionally you get six or four pointed flowers. The flowers come in the following colours - white, yellow, red and brown. The Hoodia is a very choice member of the Stapelia group, but very difficult to grow. Seed will come up easily, so it is best to graft on to stapelia stock, there is one stapiliad which has leaves and that is Fralia indiga.
This was an excellent talk given as part of the Scottish Zone tour given by Bill Keens, Ayr being the last on the list.
Plant of the Month Pictures - Stombocactus Group
High resolution versions of the photos are also available if desired.