Saturday, May 31, 2008

Caralluma hexagona

This very small dainty stapeliad was purchased from the famous Chatuchak Market in Bangkok, Thailand. It is a strongly branching plant with forms a small mound or mat over time. I was trying to put an identification to it for some time. At first i thought it was C. greenbergiana then C. foulcheri-delboscii and also possibly C. shadhbana or it could be C. hexagona as well. Yes, i was nearly right. The taxonomist as least according to the chapter Caralluma by B. Muller & Albers in Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants - Asclepiadaceae has reduced all the difficult to spell species epithets to something easy to remember C. hexagona. Let's keep our fingers crossed... you never know when somebody might do some splits or revisions or unearth some earlier published species name than will take precedence according to International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.

This is widely distributed species from the Arabian peninsular (Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Oman). Since it is probably more adaptable given its habitat range that may explain why my clone is heat tolerant. A general rule of thumb is to propagate it during the vegetative phase; it can sometimes collapse without a good reason, remnant branches can prove difficult to root.

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