Ceropegia linearis, String of Needles is an elegant trailing plant from South Africa where it is found on rocky outcrops in the coastal bush and somewhat inland in Eastern Cape and Kwazulu-Natal. It has fleshy, semi-succulent, linear foliage and an extraordinary flower that has given rise to one of it common names of Bushman's Pipe. The flower has a brown corona with five fluted basal pockets jutting above the staminal column which is a long curved tube with a globose base like a small inflated balloon. Like other members of the Ceropegieae - the tribe within the subfamily Asclepiadoideae to which it belongs - it is pollinated by flies.
Ceropegia linearis makes an easy no-fuss houseplant, trailing elegantly from a hanging planter or a high vantage point. Its semi-succulent nature means it has easy low-maintenance requirements and just needs watering during the growing season. An occasional drink of a liquid potassium-based fertilser (tomato feed) will encourage flowering. Watch out for mealy bugs which are a nuisance to get rid of.
These are long trailing fully-established mature plants with many stems over a meter in length - not the tiny rip-off cuttings that are usually on offer.
|Synonyms||Ceropegia caffrorum, Ceropegia caffrorum var. dubia|
|Geographical Origin||South Africa|
|Cultivation||Gritty, well-drained soil. Well lit in indirect light avoiding strong sun. Feed with liquid feed during the summer months. Water regularly in summer but dry throughout the winter months. Keep a lookout for mealy bugs|
|Hardiness||Tender. Houseplant only. Appreciates a spell outside in the shade during the summer|
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