hearts on a string

order: gentianales
family: apocynaceae
genus: ceropegia
species: linearis subsp. woodii

One of the first summer days outdoor.

This is another plant from my dogbane family (Apocynaceae) collection, belonging to the subfamily Asclepiadoidea, earlier a separate family. Heart-shaped leaves hang on the thin pendent stem in pairs. They have grey-green marble marking above and are purple beneath. Bulbils form at leaf axils. Lantern-like flowers are likewise borne in pairs (one earlier than the other) at leaf axils and are spent when pollinated. This can happen in a few days to a few months.

It's an undemanding succulent, that can be kept indoor all year round as long as it gets a bit of sunlight each day. I grow it in a small clay pot with a standard potting soil which dries up rather quickly. Once completely dried, the soil doesn't absorb much water. I find it very practical this way, because I can just go ahead and water the plant freely everyday without having to worry about rootrot which very often causes the death of succulent plants. Although it can tolerate temperature down to 10°C, I'd keep it above 15°C.

I find pendent plants as troublesome as climbers. What I do now is, I let the plant hang down from the pot. When the bulbils grow bigger I'll move some of the them onto the pot so that they can root. Old bulbils will eventually die. How long they live, I don't know. But before they die, there will be enough offspring.

Blooming in August 2012.

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