Distributed in South and Southwest Africa, some species in East Africa. The genus is named after the Dutch physician J. F. Stapel, who lived in the XVII century.
About 100 species are known.
The plant is grown because of the beautiful flowers, although they smell unpleasant.
Stapelia – succulent plant with fleshy stems stretching upwards. The shoots are fleshy 6-sided, often forming shoots at the base, the leaves are tiny, subulate, quickly fall off. The height of the stems can reach from 10 to 50 cm.
The flowers are large, up to 15 cm in diameter, yellow, red-brown or variegated, smell of carrion, pollinated by flies. Stapelia cactus blooms from mid-May to November, flowers are usually located at the base of the shoots, less often at the top, one or more, on long pedicels, dull colored and pubescent; cup of 5 pointed leaves; corolla rounded or broadly bell-shaped with 5 petals, dissected to half the length, more or less triangular in shape, pointed at the apex; petals fleshy, colored, pubescent or glabrous, crown with a fleshy circle, outer corolla with 5 free to the base, rectangular or lanceolate petals, flat or grooved; crown lobes adjacent to anthers, short, simple or dissected.
Look at the photo, what the slipway flower looks like, what are its features and differences.
Popular types of cactus stapelia
The most popular types of slipway:
Stapelia white-chestnut (S. albocastanea);
Stapelia Berger (S. bergeriana);
Stapelia club-shaped (S. clavicorona);
Stapelia Getlef (S. gettleffii);
Stapelia stellate (S. aslerias);
Stapelia grandiflora (S, grandiflora);
Stapelia motley (S. variegata).
S. gigantea N. E. Br. – Giant stock. Shoots are strong, erect, up to 20 cm tall and 3 cm thick, with strongly developed pterygoid edges, in small teeth, sparsely located.
Flowers 1–2 on long stalks; corolla huge, 25–35 cm in diameter, flat, deeply dissected; petals are triangular, elongated-pointed, light yellow, with numerous thick red hairs, slightly recurved along the edges and pubescent with long white hairs. Grows on rocky soils in South Africa.
S. grandiflora Masson (S. spectabilis Haw., S. obscura N. E. Br.) Perennial plant that easily forms turf. Shoots are 4-sided, pubescent, with sparsely located curved teeth.
Flowers 1-2, large, corolla 15-16 cm in diameter, flat, shaggy, with a very short tube. Petals lanceolate, pubescent, recurved, greenish-blue below, dark purple above, edges of petals with gray or reddish long hairs.
It grows on rocky soils, on the slopes of mountains and near rivers in South Africa.
S. mutabilis Jacq. (S. neglecta Tod., S. fuscata hort.) – Variable slipway. Shoots up to 15 cm tall, strong, with teeth directed upwards, glabrous. Flowers on long stalks; corolla up to 7 cm in diameter, flat; petals triangular-ovate, yellowish-green, with transverse stripes and dots, with a brown pointed apex, ciliated at the edges.
S. variegata (S. hanburyana A. Berg. a. Rust.) – Stapelia motley. Low-growing, 5-10 cm tall plants. Shoots are green, often reddish, with blunt edges in erect teeth.
Flowers are arranged 1–5 at the base of young shoots; corolla 5–8 cm in diameter, flat, petals triangular, ovate, pointed, curving, smooth on the outside, glabrous, light yellow, inside yellow, wrinkled, with dark brown stripes or unevenly spaced longitudinal spots and between them with transverse thin stripes (the shape and color of the flowers vary considerably).
Grows on stone-sand talus, in the mountains, on rocky cliffs, sometimes near rivers, in South Africa.
Looking at the photo of the described types of slipway, you can understand why this, nondescript at first glance, cactus is so loved by many flower growers: on each variety, a spectacular flower blooms that transforms the succulent.
Proper care of the stapelia plant (with video)
Home care for slipway is not difficult, as these flowers feel great in rooms.
Location. Light-requiring, however, in the summer it must be protected from direct sunlight. For winter, a pot with a plant should be installed near a window facing south, southeast or southwest.
In summer, the flower is recommended to be kept outdoors.
Temperature. In winter, stapelia succulents are kept at a temperature of 10–12 ° C (but not higher than 18 ° C), in a dry state, as they react negatively to damp air and waterlogged soil. During this period, they are susceptible to fungal diseases.
substrate. The substrate is prepared from soddy-loamy soil with the addition of coarse-grained sand, broken shards and crushed charcoal. The following composition of the earth is also suitable: turf – 1 part, leaf – 3 parts, humus – 1 part, coarse sand – 1 part, charcoal and lime – 1/2 part, small shards.
Watering. In summer, the plant is moderately watered; in winter, watering is almost completely stopped. It is necessary to ensure that water does not linger in the pot, as its excess causes rotting of the roots.
The slipway flower easily tolerates the dry air of apartments, so it is enough to spray it once a week. They are not required in winter.
Topdressing. During the period of growth and development, fertilizing is carried out with fertilizers for cacti containing potassium, which are applied to the soil 2 times a month. In the autumn-winter period, top dressing is not needed.
Transfer. Repotting at a young age is required annually, as the cactus grows rapidly. Adults are transplanted 1 time in 2 years or less. It is enough for them to change the top layer of the substrate to a fresh one, and also to remove old shoots, this will rejuvenate the plant.
When transplanting an indoor slipway flower, special attention should be paid to drainage, its layer should be 1/3 of the pot. Expanded clay and polystyrene are suitable as drainage. The capacity should be taken wide and not deep due to the characteristics of the root system, and it is not very developed in this individual. After transplantation, frequent and abundant watering is necessary in order for the cactus to take root faster in the new substrate.
Look at the following selection of photos about caring for slipway at home, which clearly demonstrates this work with all its subtleties.
With improper care of the slipway flower, a spider mite, aphid, and mealybug may appear on it. Excess moisture leads to rotting of the roots of the plant or yellowing of the leaves. Regular preventive inspections of the plant will help to start pest control in time.
More information about the slipway cactus in the video below.
Propagation of succulent slipway by seeds
Reproduction of the slipway is carried out by seeds, division of an adult plant or cuttings, which are dried in a room for a day before planting.
The seed method is not often used, because to collect them you should wait about a year for the fruit of this cactus to ripen.
Seeds are sown in small containers, in light (sandy) soil. Fresh seeds germinate within 3-4 weeks. After picking, the seedlings are planted in 6-centimeter pots. The composition of the earth is as follows: light sod – 1 part, sheet – 2 parts, coarse sand – 1 part, charcoal with lime – 0.1 parts.
The next year, young plants are transferred to 7-centimeter pots, the composition of the earth is the same. The grown seedlings are transplanted into separate small pots, and a year later, using the transshipment method, they are placed in larger containers for adult plants.
How to properly root the steppe when propagated by cuttings
The easiest way is to propagate the slipway with cuttings, which are cut with a sharp knife from old shoots. The place of the cut on the plant itself, as well as on the cut cutting, is sprinkled with crushed activated carbon.
After that, the stalk is removed to dry in a dry, ventilated room, and then planted in a substrate composed of coarse sand with the addition of a small amount of peat chips.
Cuttings root quickly. After rooting, they are planted in 7-centimeter pots. The composition of the earth mixture is the same as for seedlings.
Knowing how to properly root the slipway, you can get new strong and healthy plants in a short time. With the seed method, you will have to wait a long time for the appearance of seedlings.