x Hoodiapelia beukmanii f. cristata
Common Name: crested stapelia
Synonyms: Stapelia beukmanii f. cristata, Luckhoffia beukmanii f. cristata, Luckhoffia beukmanii ‘Cristate’
Origin: Hoodiapelia beukmanii is a wild hybrid believed to have originated from a Hoodia sp. and a Stapelia sp., possibly H. gordonii, and S. arenosa or S. stultitioides. Naturally, the hybrid occurs in North Cape Providence, Africa, but the crested form is nursery produced.
Description: The crested stapelia is a perennial succulent shrub that resembles a cactus. Wild specimens will develop 30-40 hairless stems from the base, each 8-angled and covered in prominent tubercles. Young stems are glossy-green, with sharply-pointed tubercles, while older plants are blue-green with purple markings and tubercles that terminate into white spines. The crested form possesses distinctively fan-shaped stems rather than the erect, columnar branches of the straight species.
After late summer, the crested stapelia will bloom continuously, developing apical clusters of showy, saucer-shaped flowers. The large blooms are five-lobed with a central depression and triangular, upturned corollas, resembling a starfish with the inner and outer corolla fused basally. While the outer lobes are brownish-purple and hairless, the central lobes are orange-brown to dark purple and spotted, with short black hairs.
Cultivation and Care: