Thursday, July 28, 2011

Orbea-Variegata...Starfish Flower....Toad Cactus

My sweet neighbor "Sandy" gave me these cactus plants. I planted them in new planters and was surprised today to find a funny looking Japanese lantern looking thing growing off a cactus stem. Of course I "googled" it and found this very interesting information and pictures. I am shameless.....I have copied both the photos and text from the hapless website. I'm so lazy today. is the info on these interesting plants.

Very easy to grow, it is the ideal plant for beginners, needs light shade to full sun (but tolerate shadow), very resistance to heat will also tolerate quite cold temperatures and light frost too (in good condition), best in a ventilated environment.

Water regularly during the growing season, keep dry in winter. Use a gritty, well-drained soil pH 7.5 to 8,5 (mildly alkaline). It is easily propagated by removing a cutting, sometimes with roots attached, in spring and summer, but seeds germinate readily if they are sown when fresh.

The typical flower is 5-7 cm across with 5 blunt lobes, starfish-like, attractively patterned or dusted with chocolate/purple, brown/bronze blotches on a greenish-yellow background, mostly in 6-7 rows or irregularly scattered, Corolla rugose, with a yellow central disc speckled with dark spots. Flowers coming in late summer or fall, have a light carrion smell.

It is quite free flowering if in direct sunlight. The plant can readily set seed, after the fecundation the carpels develop long cylindrical fruits up to 12 cm long, these need to be contained when they ripen, because as soon as the fruit opens it liberate a cloud of flying seed provided whit a white feathery cotton fluff.

Pray we here on the Texas coast only get some much needed rain this weekend. I don't feel the need to put up the storm shutters for this tropical storm, but I will keep an eye on the Weather channel.

Have a great day!


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