ISI 2017-13. Ceropegia ×rothii Gürke

Controlled pollination of stapeliads was pioneered by the late Jerry Barad, applying his OBGYN skills to this demanding, microsurgical task. Controlled pollination of ceropegias (in the related Periploceae subfamily) should be even more of a challenge given the even smaller size of the reproductive parts. Yet this is what was claimed in 1908 by Dr. P. Roth, a breeder of succulents in Bernburg, Germany, between C. sandsersonii × C. radicans. Even if it was a spontaneous hybrid (with the help of some appropriate fly) between the two species growing in his greenhouse, the result is still very worthy of cultivation. Like those of the two parents, the flowers are large for the genus, about 7 cm long, and combine features of both. Those of C. sandersonii have petals fused at the apex and expanded into a broad umbrella-like structure while those of C. radicans have petals forming vertical blades. Those of the hybrid are more like C. radicans in form but clearly show some C. sandersonii influence in the green spotting. Hybrid vigor seems to make this cross easier to grow than either parent, which perhaps explains why it is still around after more than a century in cultivation. We offer rooted cuts of HBG 102066, $10.

Photo © 2017 by Djamel courtesy of Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 89 (3), May-June, 2017