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Valentine.gr  

January 2010

Did you know that the strange flower of Ceropegia is a biological pitfall-trap for flies, because it is myiophilous (fly-pollinated)?

 Ceropegia flower - Ceropegia sandersonii  

Ceropegia - Ceropegia spp.

Ceropegias are an interesting group of plants which have attracted much attention from botanists, horticulturalists, gardeners, succulent enthusiasts. Carl Linnaeus, who first described this genus in volume 1 of his Species plantarum, which appeared in 1753, thought that the flowers looked like a fountain of wax. From this the scientific name was derived: ‘keros’ meaning wax and ‘pege’ meaning fountain (Pooley, 1998). They have many common names including lantern flower, parasol flower, parachute flower, bushman’s pipe, string of hearts, snake creeper, wine-glass vine, rosary vine, necklace vine and condom flower.

The genus Ceropegia belongs to the Asclepiadoideae (Milkweed) sub-family within the family Apocynaceae. Species of this genus bear similarities to the carrion flowers or Stapelias. There are between 160 and 200 species worldwide and they are found widely from the Canary Islands, Africa, Madagascar, Arabia, India, Sri Lanka, southern China, Indonesia, the Philippines, New Guinea and Queensland.

Many Ceropegia species have been taken as ornamental houseplants, and some of these are commercially available. They can be propagated by seed and cuttings.
Numerous Ceropegia species have edible tubers.

Some of these perrenial plants have succulent stems, which may be dwarf or vine-like and posess fibrous roots,  though a few species from the Canary Islands have erect growth habits. Among some species, such as Ceropegia woodii, the nodes swell, and the roots similarly expand to form tubers beneath the soil surface. The leaves are simple and opposite, although they can be rudimentary or absent. Especially in certain succulent species, the leaves may also be thick and fleshy. Species with fleshy thickened roots are the most difficult to grow.

Flowers occur either singly or in umbel-like clusters. Colours include reds, purples, yellows, greens and mixtures of these. The flowers have a tubular corolla with five petals most often fused at the tips, forming an umbrella-like canopy, a cage, or appendage-like antennae (Dyer, 1983). An interesting feature of Ceropegias is that their flower tubes are lined with small hairs that point downward to form a trap for small flies. When flies are attracted into the flower by the odour they are prevented from escaping until the hairs wither, the pollinia of the Ceropegia flower being attached to the flies’ bodies when they escape.

Ceropegia stapeliiformis is a flowering plant in the genus Ceropegia (Apocynaceae), native to South Africa and Swaziland. Ceropegia stapeliiformis is a prostrate, creeping, trailing or climbing succulent creeper with fibrous roots (which develop where the stems touch the ground) and has clear sap. The leaves are minute and rudimentary, soon falling off the stems. The flowers are 5-7 cm long and have a distinctive funnel-shape with a greenish white colour that is spotted or streaked with maroon. The petals surrounding the mouth are free-spreading, reflexed and fringed with hairs. The fruit a follicle with tubercles. This species is usually found rooted in leaf mould under the protection of shrubs.

Ceropegia sandersonii is a flowering plant in the genus Ceropegia (Apocynaceae), native to Mozambique, South Africa, and Swaziland. Common names are Parashute plant, Fountain flower, and Umbrella plant. Ceropegia sandersonii is a prostrate, slender twinner, nearly hairless, with sparse, succulent leaves. The roots form narrowly fusiform clusters. The distinctive greenish white funnel-shaped (having a corolla-tube) flowers are 5–7 cm long and are placed on a delicate stalk. Due the fact that the corolla lobes are partially fused, the opening of the flowers is partially inhibited. The tips of the petals do not separate and form a roof or umbrella-like dome on the flower, while the fused bottom forms the tube. The openings between the petals are also referred to as windows, hence the name windowed flowers that is also used for flowers of this type (Weberling, 1992). The flower itself serves as a biological myiophilous (fly-pollinated) pitfall-trap, that traps flies when they descent into the corolla tube. Small hairs that are pointed downwards prevent the insect from escaping. Once trapped, the victim is thoroughly pollinated and only released when the flower is left off and the hairs weaken.

Ceropegia woodii is a flowering plant in the genus Ceropegia (Apocynaceae), native to South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe. It is sometimes treated as a subspecies of the related Ceropegia linearis, as C. linearis subsp. woodii. Common names include Chain of Hearts, Collar of hearts, String of hearts, and Rosary vine. It is an evergreen succulent trailing vine that grows to 2-5 cm in height and spreads to reach up to 2-4 m in length. Its leaves are shaped like hearts, about 1-2 cm wide and long. When exposed to sufficient light they have a deep green colour; under insufficient lighting the leaves are pale green. With age it develops a woody caudex at its base. The roots, and occasionally the stems, will often develop tubers. On the stems these form at nodes and are likely the reason for the common name of rosary vine. The flower is in general form similar to those of other Ceropegia species. The corolla grows to 3 cm in length and is a mixed colouring of off-white and pale magenta. The five petals are a deeper purple.

Ceropegia woodii is a very popular houseplant, often grown in hanging baskets so the long trailing branches can hang down with their leaves spaced out like a row of large beads. Several cultivars have been selected, some with variegated leaves. It requires excellent drainage, should be watered only when dry, and should never stand in water. Excess water should be removed from plant saucer after watering. It can be grown outdoors only in subtropical and tropical areas, with a minimum temperature of 15 °C. Partial shading is useful when the plant is grown outdoors.

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceropegia
http://www.succulent-plant.com/families/asclepiadaceae/ceropegia.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceropegia_stapeliiformis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceropegia_sandersonii
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceropegia_woodii

 

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Champak - Magnolia champaca
Hooker’s lips - Psychotria elata
Suicide Tree - Cerbera odollam
Konjac - Amorphophallus konjac
Madagascar ocotillo - Alluaudia procera
Water Banana - Typhonodorum lindleyanum
Salak - Salacca zalacca
Natal Plum - Carissa macrocarpa
Ashanti blood - Mussaenda erythrophylla
Duranta - Duranta erecta
Maqui - Aristotelia chilensis
Manuka - New Zealand Tea Tree - Leptospermum scoparium
Suriname cherry - Eugenia uniflora
Australian Finger Lime - Citrus australasica
Sacred Flower of the Incas - Cantua buxifolia
Job's tears - Coix Lacryma-jobi
Velvet Bean - Mucuna pruriens
Java Apple - Syzygium samarangense
Screwpine - Pandanus utilis
Marimo - Aegagropila linnaei
Achocha/Caigua - Inca cucumber - Cyclanthera pedata
Rubber Tree - Hevea brasiliensis
Sugar cane - Saccharum officinarum
Sacha inchi - Plukenetia volubilis
Coffea - Coffee Tree - Coffea arabica
Liquorice - Licorice - Glycyrrhiza glabra
Mullein -Verbascum thapsus
Iceplant - Mesembryanthemum crystallinum
Chayote - Sechium edule
Roselle - Hibiscus sabdariffa
Black Goji - Lycium ruthenicum Murray
Rose Cactus - Pereskia grandifolia
Durian - Durio zibethinus
Jackfruit tree - Artocarpus heterophyllus
Cassabanana - Sicana odorifera
Chilean myrtle - Arrayan - Luma apiculata
Kurrajong - Brachychiton populneus
Rice-paper Plant -Tetrapanax papyrifer
Shell Ginger - Alpinia zerumbet
Harlequin Glorybower - Clerodendrum trichotomum
Coco de Mer - Lodoicea maldivica
Silver Tree - Leucadendron argenteum
Buffaloberry - Shepherdia argentea
Himalayan Honeysuckle - Leycesteria formosa
Raisin Tree - Hovenia dulcis
Borojo - Alibertia patinoi - Borojoa patinoi
Butterfly Pea - Clitoria ternatea
Honey Flower - Melianthus major
Ombu - Phytolacca dioica
Lion's Ear - Wild Dagga - Leonotis leonurus
Moringa - Miracle Tree - Moringa oleifera
Sea Daffodil - Pancratium maritimum
Spear Lily - Gymea - Doryanthes
Camphor tree - Cinnamomum camphora
Waterwheel - Aldrovanda vesiculosa
Flowering rush - Butomus umbellatus
Four o'clock - Marvel of Peru - Mirabilis jalapa
Dead Man’s Fingers - Decaisnea
Bitter Melon - Momordica charantia
Shoapnuts Tree - Shoapberry - Sapindus
Acerola - Malpighia
Monkey Ladder - Sea Heart - Entada gigas
Cherimoya - Annona cherimola
Caper - Capparis spinosa
Lithops - Living Stones
Chaste Tree - Vitex agnus-castus
Chilean Lantern Tree - Crinodendron hookerianum
Parrot's Beak - Lotus berthelotii
Water Hyacinth - Eichhornia crassipes
Guaiac Tree - Guaiacum officinale - Lignum-vitae
Mickey Mouse bush - Ochna serrulata
Cow's Udder - Solanum mammosum
Miracle fruit - Synsepalum dulcificum
Akebia - Akebia quinata
Chilean Firebush - Embothrium coccineum
Caesalpinia - Caesalpinia pulcherrima
Welwitschia - Welwitschia mirabilis
Saguaro - Carnegiea gigantea
Schisandra - Schisandra chinensis
Monarda - Bee balm - Bergamot
Tamarind - Tamarindus indica
Neomarica - Walking Iris
Red hot poker - Kniphofia - Tritoma
Sikkim rhubarb - Rheum nobile
Reseda - Mignonette
Paulownia - Paulownia tomentosa
Belamcanda chinensis - Leopard lily
Blue Poppy - Meconopsis
Cannonball Tree - Couroupita guianensis
Tamarillo - Cyphomandra betacea
Goji - Wolfberry - Lycium barbarum
Vanilla - Vanilla Planifolia
Stevia - Stevia rebaudiana
Pachypodium
Physalis
Ceropegia
Sturt pea - Swainsona formosa
Clematis
Grevillea
Jade vine - Strongylodon macrobotrys
Sansevieria - Snake Plant
Trochetia
Yareta - Azorella compacta
African tulip tree - Spathodea campanulata
Angel's Trumpets - Brugmansia
Achiote - Annato - Bixa orellana
Sausage Tree - Kigelia pinnata
Castor Oil Plant - Ricinus communis
Firewheel Tree - Stenocarpus sinuatus
Bat Flower - Tacca
Snake gourd - Trichosanthes cucumerina
Sedum
Hydnora - Hydnora africana
Pickerel Weed - Pontederia
Argan - Argania spinosa
Astilbe - False Goats Beard
Feijoa - Pineapple Guava - Acca sellowiana
Aquilegia - Columbine
Cassiope
Sweet Box - Sarcococca
Christmas Cactus - Schlumbergera
Foxtail Lily - Eremurus
Rue - Ruta graveolens
Pittosporum
Ylang-Ylang - Cananga odorata
Rose of Jericho - Anastatica hierochuntica
Gunnera
Waterlily - Nymphaea
Calico Flower - Aristolochia
Daylily - Hemerocallis
Contorted hazel - Corylus avellana Contorta
Torch Ginger - Etlingera elatior
Mistletoe - Viscum album
Devil´s claw - Harpagophytum procumbens
Teasel - Dipsacus
Pampas grass - Gynerium argenteum - Cortaderia Selloanna
Purple coneflower - Echinacea purpurea
Coral Tree - Erythrina crista-galli
Portulaca
Lobelia
Field Poppy - Papaver Rhoeas
Narcissus - Daffodil
Mimosa pudica - Sensitive Plant
Boxwood - Buxus sempervirens
Firethorn - Pyracantha
Star of Bethlehem - Ornithogalum
Cosmos
Muscari - Grape Hyacinth
Papyrus - Cyperus papyrus
Zinnia
Honeysuckle - Lonicera
Passiflora - Passion Flower
Calendula - Marigold
Lupine - Lupinus
Canna - Indian Shot
Witch Hazel - Hamamelis
Oak - Quercus
Brunsvigia - Candelabra Flower
Tree peony - Paeonia suffruticosa
Olive - Olea europaea
Cornflower - Centaurea cyanus
Desert rose - Adenium obesum
Oleander - Nerium Oleander
Abutilon
Sweet Pea - Lathyrus odoratus
Chaenomeles - Flowering Quince
Forsythia
Amaryllis - Hippeastrum
Butchers broom - Ruscus aculeatus
Bay Laurel - Laurus nobilis
Gloriosa
Bamboo
Gladiolus
Artichoke - Cynara scolymus
Clivia - Clivia Miniata
Dipladenia - Dipladenia sanderii
Date palm - Phoenix dactylifera
Peach - Prunus persica
Almond - Prunus amygdalus
Willow - Salix
Pomegranate - Punica granatum
Protea cynaroides
Colchicum autumnale
Bird of Paradise - Strelitzia reginae
Cardon - Pachycereus pringlei
Wolffia arrhiza
Puya raimondii
Fuchsia
Asphodelus - Asphodel
Primula - Primerose
Dicentra spectabilis - Bleeding Heart
Edelweiss - Leontopodium alpinum
Helleborus Niger - Christmas Rose
Zantedeschia - Calla Lily
Fritillaria imperialis - Crown imperial
Aster
Heliconia
Common Sunflower - Helianthus annuus
Bee Orchid - Orphys apifera
Convalaria majalis - Lily of the Valley - Muguet
Syringa Vurgaris - Lilac
Viola
Impantiens
Snowdrop - Galanthus
Poinsettia - Euphorbia pulcherrima
Dionaea muscipula
Banksia
Sea anemone
Amorrhophallus titanum
Rafflesia arnoldi

 

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