Carrion Flower

Orbea variegata

Starfish Plant, Starfish Cactus, Carrion Cactus, Toad Cactus, Toad Plant, Basblom, Bokhoring (Afr.)

profile iconOrbea variegata - 5 Oct. 2013
by Philosofia (CC BY 2.0)
1 of 7
Some Orbea variegata in flower
profile iconOrbea variegata - 5 Oct. 2013
by Philosofia (CC BY 2.0)
1 of 7
Orbeas are leafless, hairless, succulent perennials that form compact to diffuse clumps. They branch from the base and often arise from creeping rootstocks. The stems grow either vertically or horizontally and occasionally exhibit a creeping nature. The four-angled stems are usually prominently sharp-toothed, with a soft tip. They are always mottled purplish maroon on a green background, especially distinct when exposed to the sun. The flowers often have an unpleasant odour, reminiscent of rotting meat, which attracts pollinators such as flies. The seed-carrying follicles (fruit) look like two horns, hence the common name bokhoring. Uses: Orbea is mainly of horticultural value and only a few species are used as food, for example the stems of O. lugardii and O. maculata , which are eaten as a vegetable and taste like lettuce. O. namaquensis is also eaten occasionally, but is very bitter.
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Planning

Difficulty

Moderate

Flowering time

Summer

Fruiting time

Summer

Propagation

Cuttings

Leave stems on the soil - they will soon send out roots to anchor.

Seed

Sowing time - Summer

Special features

Drought resistant

Indoor plant

Pot plant

Attractive flowers

Special features

Origin

South Africa

Natural climate

Desert and Mediterranean

Environment

Light

Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Dry

Soil type

Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Neutral

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Edible

Stems, flowers

Notes

Orbea is mainly of horticultural value and only a few species are used as food, for example the stems of O. lugardii and O. maculata , which are eaten as a vegetable and taste like lettuce. O. namaquensis is also eaten occasionally, but is very bitter.

Personality

Family

Apocynaceae

Flower colour

Cream, Brown, Red

Scent

Mild

Problems

Do not expose to too much water!
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Knowledge and advice

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