… it’s all africana after all

Here we have three clones of Ceropegia africana, from left to right: Ceropegia africana ssp. barklyi (I have forgotten from where), a climbing form with rather broad leaves and very typical ssp. barklyi flowers; Ceropegia africana ssp. barklyi (allegedly from Queenstown / RSA), a climbing form with very succulent leaves and flowers rather like those of the nominate form; Ceropegia africana (from where?, also sold as ssp. barklyi) a very succulent, stoloniferous form.


In my opinion the differences between the alleged subspecies are very, very vaguely, so for me it’s all africana after all. ;)

Botanical Garden Bochum / Germany

… I was there today for … perhaps the fifth time or so … there are only three plants of the genus to be found (actually there seem to be additional ones hidden somewhere as usual for Botanical Gardens)

… here we have Ceropegia linearis ssp. woodii – the ‘debilis‘ form:


… and the same species but the more usual form:


There are also some stems of Ceropegia stapeliiformis lying around in the succulent plants house – so, altogether ‘very special’ plants … wow ….

The third new addition in 2014

… found during the ‘Kakteen- und Sukkulentenbörse’ on the GRUGA in Essen / NRW / Germany: Ceropegia africana ssp. barklyii – a special clone with flowers like the nominate race, Ceropegia crassifolia – a small plant, Ceropegia inornata – a new one, as my plant died last year, Ceropegia nilotica – a large-leaved clone from South Africa, and finally Ceropegia rendallii – the real one! :P

Ceropegia stenantha K. Schum.

Man findet diese Art in 50 bis 1200 m Höhe in Feuchtgebieten oder zumindest zeitweise feuchten Savannen wo sie sehr oft am Fuße von Mopane-Bäumen (Colophospermum mopane (Kirk ex Benth.) Kirk ex J. Léon.) wächst.

Die Art bildet keine unterirdische Knolle aus, hat aber verdickte Speicherwurzeln. Der Trieb ist vierkantig und kann bis zu 3 m lang werden. Er stirbt saisonal ab, in Kultur kann die Art aber auch ausdauernd wachsen.

Die Blätter sind 3 bis 8 cm lang, lanzettförmig und nicht sukkulent.

Die ca. 4 cm langen Blüten sind relativ unauffällig hellgelb bis grünlichgelb gefärbt und an der Basis meist unauffällig gefleckt, erscheinen aber immer zu mehreren an einem Blütenstand.


Eine recht großblütige Form, die aus den Regenwäldern der Kongo-Region stammt, wurde als Ceropegia angustiloba De Wild. beschrieben, eine andere, sehr kleinblütige Form aus der selben Gegend als Ceropegia quarrei De Wild., diese Pflanzen werden vor Ort Kalunuteli-Zina genannt (bei den Baluba) bzw. Mitama. [1]


Das Volk der Sandawe, das im Kondoa-Distrikt in der Dodoma-Region Tansanias lebt, nennt die Art Nongolo und verwendet ihre Wurzeln um damit Magenerkrankungen bei Kindern zu behandeln. [5]


Ceropegia stenantha K. Schum.

This plant can be found in 50 to 1200 m above sea level in wetlands or in seasonal wet savannas where it very often grows at the base of Mopane trees (Colophospermum mopane (Kirk ex Benth.) Kirk ex J. Léon.).

This species has no subterranean tuber, but it has fleshy roots. The stem is tetragonal and can reach a length of up to 3 m. It dies seasonal, but can be lasting in culture.

The leaves are 3 to 8 cm long, lancet-shaped and non-succulent.

The flowers are about 4 cm in length and have a quite inconspicuously light yellow to greenish yellow colouration and are sometimes inconspicuously spotted on the base, but always appear in small groups on the inflorescence.


A quite large-flowered form, which comes from the rainforests of the Congo region, was described as Ceropegia angustiloba De Wild., another, yet very small-flowered form from the same region as Ceropegia quarrei De Wild., these plants are named locally as Kalunuteli-Zina (by the Baluba) or Mitama respectively. [1]


The people of the Sandawe tribe, which settle in the Kondoa district in the Dodoma Region of Tanzania, call the species Nongolo and use its roots to treat stomach diseases in children. [5]


Referenzen / References:

[1] E. Werdermann: Übersicht über die aus dem Belgischen Kongo stammenden Arten der Gattung Ceropegia. Bulletin du Jardin botanique de l’État a Bruxelles 15(2): 222-240. 1938
[2] P. V. Bruyns: Ceropegia, Brachystelma and Tenaris in South West Africa. Dinteria 17: 3-80. 1984
[3] F. Malaisse: Recherches sur les Asclepiadaceae du Shaba (Zaire) 1. Nouvelles observations sur le genre Ceropegia L.. Bull. Jard. Bot. Nat. Belg. / Bull. Nat. Plantentuin Belg. 54(1/2): 213-234. 1984
[4] P. G. Archer: Kenya Ceropegia Scrapbook. Notes and records of some Kenya Ceropegia. Hobart (AUS): Artemis Pup. Consultans 1992
[5] P. S. M. Phiri: A checklist of Zambian vascular plants. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32. 2005
[6] J. O. Kokwaro: Medicinal Plants of East Africa. Third Edition. African Books Collective 2011



Foto / Photo: Warren McCleland; mit freundlicher Genehmigung von / by courtesy of Warren McCleland


… the first time

My very first Ceropegia sandersonii of the ‘monteiroae‘ clone, and its very first flower. :P


The second new addition in 2014

Bought today – as Ceropegia denticulata ssp. brownii – a new Ceropegia nilotica, a clone from KwaZulu-Natal, which produces high quantities of offshoots.

Which are the next relatives of the two isolated Canary Islands Ceropegia species?

According to a new scientific paper (see below), which also contains some new phylogenetic trees, the next relatives of Ceropegia dichotoma and Ceropegia fusca from the Canary Islands are three species from Asia, resp. Australia, namely Ceropegia cumingiana, Ceropegia intermedia and Ceropegia pubescens.

According to the paper, the Canary Islands were colonised by the genus Ceropegia only once.


The phylogenetic trees furthermore show – again – that the genus Ceropegia as such does not exist, but is either a much larger genus, including all of the Brachystelma species and some of the stapeliad species (or perhaps even all of them), or it must be split into several smaller genera (that is what I would prefer), with the name Ceropegia remaining for Ceropegia candelabrum (the species that was first described under that genus name) and its relatives.


… by the way: the paper is naming my website as a source for pictures. :P



- Ambroise Valentin: Phylogenetic position of Ceropegia dichotoma and Ceropegia fusca and their biogeographical origin. Uppsala Universitet 2014


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