Thursday, September 12, 2013

Stepelia gigantea
Facebook is fine for short, "live in the moment" conversations but I'm asking you to stick with me while we see what happens to this Starfish cactus. Watch with me as, over the next few weeks, our Star cactus or Stepelia gigantea is transformed.  At least that's the plan. I am hoping that these buds don't shrivel up as others have in the past. 

Other common plant names are South African star flower or Carrion flower (for reasons we'll understand later). It is even called a Giant toad plant. It is native to the dry arid parts South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe though may be found in some surrounding areas as well.

Today as I sit here on a humid, hazy day in the Ohio Valley, a day that feels more like August than September, I think that Stepelia is out of place here on my porch. Yes, I think that . . . but I know so little . . . for here it thrives as long as I don't water it too often and I take it inside before frost.

Like several of my garden's residents, this plant came to me from Maxine Plum. Maxine & Jean. While visiting her one evening, she said, "Here, I want you to have this." She then, promptly, cut off a "leg" with a little dirt, wrapped it in plastic and sent me home with s tiny plant. the one above is a baby from my original gift.

Here is its mother.
See how the limbs swoop down, grazing the ground? Those "legs" will put out roots and form a new plant.
So, come back next week and see what has happened to our Stepelia.


Out on the prairie said...

It looks fun, but with the carrion moniker it may smell.

Did you know you have word verification?Sometimes it takes many tries to forward a comment when you can't tell what the letters mean-2602umseldi, will be the 1st try.

Nellie from Beyond My Garden said...

Prairie, I know, and I know they are a pain. The last time I took it off I had pages of spam. Maybe it's time to try again.