Deprecated: wpcf7_add_shortcode is deprecated since Contact Form 7 version 4.6! Use wpcf7_add_form_tag instead. in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/contact-form-7/includes/functions.php on line 540
Namibia Nature Notes - stapeliads - Travel News Namibia

Namibia Nature Notes – stapeliads

Botanical Garden – Nature’s miracles in the heart of Windhoek
September 3, 2012
Windhoek – Where Africa and Europe meet
September 3, 2012

The beautiful, striking, complicated, bizarre stapeliad

Amy Schoeman takes a closer look at the succulent ‘orchid’ in Namibia

The stapeliads (Stapelieae) belong to the Asclepiadaceae, a large international family with intriguing representatives such as the Malayan Dischidia rafflesiana in which the leaves form pitchers that condense water and the interesting ceropegias that occur in India, tropical Africa and South Africa.

While the stapeliads have a hard core of enthusiasts, they lack general popularity because they are generally unassuming, low-growing plants which produce their beautiful and striking flowers – mostly dark pink, maroon, purple and mauve – only on new growth.

Moreover, their cultivation is not easy. When removed from the dry air of their usually arid habitats they fall prey to the white mealy bug, which sucks up sap from the stems and injures the roots, preparing the way for parasitic fungal invasion.

Photograph by Winfried Bruenken

Photograph by Winfried Bruenken

However they are of particular interest to botanists, who regard their flowers among the most beautiful of the dicotyledons, and the most complicated.

The petals that form the corolla are always joined to some extent and all generally have twin seedpods.

There is probably no other succulent on this planet that goes to the same bizarre lengths as the stapeliad to ensure its pollination, and in doing so, it plays a dreadful joke on the pollinator.

The flowers of several species have a particularly obnoxious odour, rather like that of rotting meat.

This, the dark colours, and in some species the vibritile hairs that always move slightly, attract passing flies, which alight to drink nectar.

Female flies, in the belief that the flower is carrion, lay their eggs on it.

Needless to say, when the eggs hatch, they die. However, when jerking itself free from the corona after laying her eggs, the female flies has picked up pollen, which she then carries to other flowers, thereby effecting pollination.

One of Namibia’s best-known stapeliads is the Hoodia, the so-called diet plant that has been used by Southern Africa’s San Bushmen for hundreds of years to dampen their appetites during long treks through the Kalahari Desert.

Hoodia plant by Paul van Schalkwyk. www.tala.com.na

Hoodia plant by Paul van Schalkwyk. www.tala.com.na

 

The British firm Phytofarm has been licensed to develop the plant’s commercial potential as an appetite suppressant.

A genus with species that are very similar to Hoodia is Trichocaulon, a stapeliad with many-angled prickly stems. Like Hoodia, these plants are restricted to Namibia’s arid regions. When not in bloom, the two genera are difficult to distinguish. When flowering, however, Hoodia is unmistakable with its large, showy saucer-like flowers, much like petunias but lacking in the long corolla tube.

The Orbea variegata, a top favourite amongst stapeliad enthusiasts and collectors. With proper care it can be grown successfully in pots and rock gardens, and when happy, will flower. This species grows naturally in South Africa’s south-western Cape from Lambert’s Bay to Mossel Bay, and is especially common on the mountains of the Cape peninsula.

This article appeared in the May/June ‘05 edition of Travel News Namibia.

 

Travel News Namibia
Travel News Namibia
Travel News Namibia is a high-quality glossy Namibia travel and lifestyle magazine tasked with promoting Namibia to the world. With riveting stories, first-hand encounters and magnificent photographs showcasing tourism, travel, nature, adventure and conservation, TNN is the ultimate and most comprehensive guide to exploring Namibia. Travel News Namibia is published in five different editions per year. These include four English- language editions and one German. Travel News Namibia is for sale in Namibia and South Africa.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: status in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: status in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: status in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

Notice: Undefined index: id in /home/travelnewsnamibi/public_html/wp-content/plugins/form-lightbox/admin-page.php on line 566

    Magazine Subscription

    Please fill out the form below and we will get in touch with you

    Title

    Full Name

    Email

    Delivery address

    Namibia - N$ 210

    International - €50

    EFT Direct Deposits can be made to the following account:

    Account Name: Venture Publications (Pty) Ltd

    Bank : Bank Windhoek

    Branch code: 48-19-72-00, Windhoek

    Swift code: BWLINANX

    Acknowledgement of payment will only be made upon receipt of a deposit slip.

    Deposit slips can be e-mailed together with subscription form to bonn@venture.com.na

      Contact Us

      Please fill out the form below and we will get in touch with you

      Your Name (required)

      Your Email (required)

      Subject

      Your Message