Ceropegia haygarthii (Lantern Flower)
Ceropegia haygarthii (Lantern Flower) is a semi-evergreen, strong growing, twining, stem succulent, with small ovate leaves. The stems are climbing or trailing, fleshy…
The Most Unusual Bloom: Ceropegia Haygarthii
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Ceropegia is a genus of plants within the family Apocynaceae, native to Africa, southern Asia, and Australia. 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. This unusual flower was first documented by Carl Linnaeus in 1753, who felt that the flowers look like a fountain of wax.
Thus the scientific name was born – keros, meaning wax and pege meaning fountain.
Thankfully, there are lots of common names which are much easier to remember: Lantern flower, parasol flower, parachute flower, bushman’s pipe, string of hearts, snake creeper, wine-glass vine, rosary vine and necklace vine, to name a few!
This plant is usually found in the form of a vine however there are a few upright species which can be found in the Canary Islands.
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.
Ceropegia species have attracted much attention from botanists, horticulturalists, gardeners and succulent plant enthusiasts. Numerous species are commercially available and grown as ornamental houseplants. They can be propagated by seed and cuttings and are reported to be fairly easy to grow. It is suited for climate zones 10 & up, if you do grow it outside be sure to plant it in an area that provides some light shade.
Ceropegia haygarthii makes for an excellent and unusual house plant or can be set outside in pots as long as you remember to bring it in when it starts to get cooler. Easy to propagate from seeds or cuttings, this little succulent climber is a prized plant of its owners. A little bit of shade and regular watering (be careful not to over-water) means an easy care plant, which is great as most plants with unusual blooms require some specialized care.
An interesting fact: the inside of the flowers are absolutely covered with hairs that point downward. This “traps” flies inside and won’t let them out until the fly is covered in pollen. Once that happens the hairs wither allowing the fly to leave and spread its pollen around. Pretty cool!
Do you grow Ceropegia in your garden? What is your experience with this plant? Please share in the comments below!
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|Family:||Apocynaceae (a-pos-ih-NAY-see-ee) (Info)|
|Genus:||Ceropegia (seer-oh-PEEJ-ee-uh) (Info)|
|Species:||haygarthii (hay-GARTH-ee-eye) (Info)|
|Synonym:||Ceropegia distincta subsp. haygarthii|
Tropicals and Tender Perennials
Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)
Where to Grow:
Can be grown as an annual
Suitable for growing in containers
Soil pH requirements:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From seed direct sow after last frost
From seed germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium
Allow pods to dry on plant break open to collect seeds
Seed does not store well sow as soon as possible
This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:
On Apr 28, 2020, Kell from (Zone 9b) wrote:
Per Rogier van Vugt, the Head Gardener at the greenhouses at Leiden University and at Hortus botanicus Leiden, from Noordwijk, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands:
"This is Ceropegia haygarthii a climbing species from Southern Africa. Even though pretty much every species in this genus is rather weird, this one probably makes one of the weirdest flowers of all. They are produced in abundance on the fast growing vines and have a pleasant lemon scent. It is very easy to grow as a houseplant but absolutely cannot stand stagnating water. Luckily it is easy to reproduce by cuttings, so killing the roots by over watering is not the end of the plant. When kept to dry it will drop the leaves. This is not harmful but in summer it should receive water as soon as the soil fully dried out to keep the pla. read more nt growing. This plant has a large distribution area and comes in a range of different forms. This means that if you purchase one you should ask the grower what the flower of that particular clone looks like, or ask a picture of the flower to prevent disappointment. On the other hand. The variation also makes it worthwhile to grow several different plants."
On Jun 17, 2008, Nan from SW, WI (Zone 4b) wrote:
This is a very easy grower for me - indoors in a very bright, sunny south window.
It takes very little water.
It defoliates during the winter and reappear in the spring when new growth also begins.
This Ceropegia has 'twining' stems.
On Nov 23, 2007, macybee from Deer Park, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:
From South Africa's Cape Province, Ceropegia haygarthii is a semi-evergreen climbing succulent reaching a height of about 6'. It bears oval leaves and a profusion of small white to pinkish white flowers in summer. Each flower has a purple-spotted tube that widens towards the top and terminates in 5 abruptly narrowed segments whose fine tips are twisted together into a long, stalk-like structure with a hairy knob at the end.
Requirements vary according to origin and growth habit. Nearly all Ceropegia species are warmth-loving plants, requiring protection from frosts, and must be grown indoors in cool climates. A few are easily grown in any well-lit position, for example the well-know Ceropegia linearis, but the more highly succulent species dema. read more nd a perfectly drained, open soil mix with good humus content which should be kept fairly dry in winter. The more vigorously twining species need supporting wire. Propagate from seed, cuttings or stem tubers.