Succulent Plants in Cultivation
Succulent plants are classed together because they resemble each other in their adaptation to dry conditions, but they do not all belong to the same plant family. There are 24 families in which some degree of succulence is found but only three — Cactaceae, Crassulaceae and Mesembryanthemaceae — in which all the plants are succulent.
A large number of succulent plants are now grown, and if the generic, or first Latin name of a plant is known, some idea of the type of plant can be obtained.
In the following list the probable time of flowering for most of the plants is indicated in brackets after the generic name. It is, however, impossible to be exact, since the flowering time alters according to the treatment given. It also depends on the weather and especially on the amount of sunshine the plant gets. All the speciesina genus may not flower at the same time, especially if they come from different climates. This is particularly the case with; there is no time in the year when none of the species is flowering.
In, it is the plant itself that is of chief importance; if flowers come, they are a welcome addition, but many do not flower regularly and some never reach flowering size in this country.
Similarly, it is impossible to predict the height of most succulents. In cultivation, one can find good representatives of the same plant which vary widely in size according to age and cultural conditions, and to give the height that plants attain in their natural surroundings would be misleading.
These small South African plants with thick leaves and short woody stems were at one time included in Cotyledon but can be distinguished from that family by their small flowers in slender spikes.
Adromischus cristatus, thick, green, hairy leaves on thin stalks, the wide top edge thinner and wavy; stems short, stout and covered with dry, brown, aerial roots.
A. festivus (formerly A. cooperi), larger leaves than A. cristatus, narrowed to the base, grey-green with darker markings.
A. leucophyllus, short woody stems bearing thin-edged round or oval leaves covered with a white, waxy coating.
Related tobut forming shrubs with woody stems. Not hardy since they come from the Canary Isles.
Aeonium arboreum, compact rosettes of green leaves on branched stems.
A.a. Atropurpureum, similar to A. arboreum but has dark purple leaves.
A. domesticum (syn. Aichryson domesticum), shrublet with much-branched stem and small rosettes of roundish, hairy leaves towards the tips; small yellow flowers.
A. tabulaeforme, almost stemless, with numerous leaves symmetrically arranged in flat rosettes up to 10 in. across; a pyramidal inflorescence rises from centre, after which the rosette dies. Can be raised from seed to flower in two or three years.
Natives of America. The leaves are thick, usually tapering, sometimes with spiny edges, and are held in rosettes, usually on short stems. When fully grown most of them are extremely large plants but small specimens are very attractive and grow slowly.
Agave americana, spreading, greyish-green leaves. Several varieties have yellow, white or pinkish longitudinal stripes along leaves.
ALOE (winter or spring)
Natives of Africa, these plants vary in size, some having stems, others none; some species, where the stem increases in height, become trees in their native land. The leaves are thick and tapering, sometimes with spiny edges, and are held in rosettes; flowers usually orange or red. Winter growers, the aloes need less water in summer. Repot in September.
Aloe arborescens, even young plants develop a stem; slender leaves have stout spines along edges.
A. aristata, one of the smaller species. The stem never lengthens but branches at ground level forming clumps. Numerous small, incurved leaves, dark green with white edges and spines on back and edge. Sometimes mistaken for a haworthia until it produces its annual spike of typical red aloe flowers.
A. saponaria, also short-stemmed and forms offsets, but leaves are fewer and much larger, pale green with white oblong spots arranged in bands.
A. variegata (partridge-breasted aloe), quite distinct, as the leaves stand more or less erect, arranged in three rows, keeled on the outside, dark green with white teeth along edge, and transverse rows of white spots in irregular bands. Red flowers on loose spike about 1 ft. high.
One of thethat grow on trees; the long slender stems are ribbed and covered with fine spines.
(rat’s tail ), usually grown as a hanging plant; slender, carmine flowers borne towards the base of the stems.
ASTROLOBA (spring and summer)
Formerly called Aprica. This genus is closely related to Haworthia, the chief difference being in the form of the flower. The leaves are arranged symmetrically up the stem, which may become 6 to 10 in. long.
Astroloba pentagona, five rows of leaves, wide at the base, green, thick, firm and terminating in a sharp tip.
A. spiralis, similar; its five rows of leaves are spiralled and blue-grey in colour.
This cactus is low-growing and globular in shape, but may become cylindrical with age. There are usually five to eight ribs only; the areoles are close-set along the ribs and the whole surface is covered with tiny white flakes. The large yellow-flowers are borne in the centre of the plant.
Astrophytum capricorm, has eight ribs, and woolly areoles bearing a number of twisted spines.
A. myriostigma (bishop’s cap), usually four or five ribs but no spines.
See under KALANCHOE; the two genera are now usually amalgamated.
Related to the stapelias, these plants have stout, four- to six-angled leafless stems and small star-shaped flowers.
Caralluma europaea, the commonest species; with four-angled stems and clusters of small, pale yellow flowers banded with purple.
A large genus of columnar cacti, which normally reach a considerable height; the ribbed stems are generally hairy.
(old man cactus) is best known. Has a green ribbed body wrapped in long white hairs. Decorative even when small.
This name was formerly used to include most columnar cacti but is now reserved for a few species only, which bear large, funnel-shaped flowers that open at night. Cereus azureus and C. coerulescens, have blue bloom on young stems; must be about 1 ft. tall before their white flowers are produced.
Mostlywith the exception of two from the Canary Isles: C. dichotoma and C. fusca.
Ceropegia dichotoma, stout, erect stems, leafless for most of the year; curiously shaped yellow flowers.
C. fusca, similar to C. dichotoma, but with chocolate-coloured flowers.
C. woodii, a trailing plant with thin stems rising from a corm, and bearing small heart-shaped leaves, dark green with silvery markings and purple undersides.
Chamaecereus silvestrii, small-growing cereus with prostrate stems, which are brittle and break off easily but can be re-rooted. Comparatively large, erect orange or scarlet flowers.
One of the columnar cerei with thin, branching stems, the spiny arcoles being close together. The flowers are small and do not open wide.
Cleistocactus straussii, stems slender and erect, entirely covered with white spines, flowers carmine.
These are mimicry, each pair of leaves being so closely joined that a small top-shaped body with a slit across the upper surface is formed; the surface may be flat, curved or lobed. The flowers emerge through the slit, after which the plant divides. Keep the plants completely dry from December until June, by which time the outer pair of leaves should have dried up to a papery skin, which splits when growth begins. This is a large genus of some two hundred species.
Conophytum calculus, round green head, without markings, and yellow flowers.
C.frutescens, one of the lobed-top type, and the earliest to bloom. The orange flowers may appear before watering.
C. globosum, similar in colour to C. calculus but larger and kidney-shaped with mauve flowers.
Round or cylindrical plants, a few inches across, solitary or in clumps. At one time included in, these cacti are distinguished by the groove on the upper side of each tubercle; one or more of the spines is hooked.
Coryphantha elephantidens, spherical, with large tubercles and white wool on top.
C. vivipara, smaller than C. elephantidens, with more cylindrical tubercles; it quickly makes clumps.
Woody shrubs from South Africa with slightly succulent leaves, usually attractively coloured.
Cotyledon orbiculata, roundish, grey-green leaves with red edges.
C. undulata, leaves rather thicker than C. orbiculata, with a wavy edge and covered with white meal. Does not produce its orange or reddish, bell-shaped, hanging flowers until it is a fair size.
This genus includes a wide variety of types found in South and South-west Africa.
Crassula arborescens, a large shrub resembling a cotyledon.
C. cooperi, forms mats of small rosettes of prettily marked leaves.
C. falcata, a tall plant with narrow greyish leaves, turned on edge; a wide head of bright red flowers in summer terminates the stem, which later branches.
C. lycopodioides, branching stems covered with overlapping, tiny, dark green, pointed leaves.
C. portulacea (often erroneously called C. argentea), a large shrub resembling a cotyledon.
C. sarcocaulis, small shrub with tiny blue-green leaves and bunches of pink flowers on ends of branches. Hardy in sheltered places.
C. schmidtii, low, branching stems with rosettes of leaves, the centres of which elongate into inflorescences bearing small red flowers.
Formerly included in Mammillaria, these cacti have longer tubercles of softer texture than that genus.
Dolichothele longimamma, glaucous tubercles up to 2 in. long. Produces large yellow flowers freely.
One of the mesembryanthemums characterized by the glistening papillae on the leaves.
Drosanthemum floribundum, forms cushions of prostrate stems. FIowers very freely, often in first year from seed.
In this American genus the leaves are in rosettes, either stemless or on branching stems; as a rule they have a coating of wax or hairs on the surface, which makes them very decorative; the flowers are red or orange, in loose, few-flowered sprays.
derenbergii, glaucous blue leaves in rosettes a few inches across with red edges, and bright orange flowers.
E. gibbiflora, a much larger plant than E. derenbergii, with rosettes carried on branching stems.
E.g. carunculata, similar to type but centre of leaf puckered.
E.g. metallica, similar to type but has dark reddish-purple leaves.
E.glauca (sometimes regarded as variety of E. secunda), well-known species, at one time used in formal bedding, compact rosettes about 4 in. across, rounded leaves with short tips, blue-grey with reddish margins.
E. harmsii (once known as Oliveranthus elegans), a small, erect shrub with hairy leaves in loose rosettes. Bright red flowers about 1 in. long, one to three together on short stems.
E. leucotricha, hairy leaves, mostly silvery but brown on edges; does not flower easily in this country.
E. pulvinata, low, branching stems with rosettes of green hairy leaves, with crimson edges and large orange flowers.
Echinocactus grusonii (barrel cactus), is the best known of this genus. The stem, at first spherical, becomes cylindrical with age, with many ribs and golden spines. Large specimens are sometimes seen but even small ones are very attractive.
This cactus somewhat resembles the columnar cerei, but though some species may become cylindrical in time, they never form columns. The flowers are usually very large and showy.
Echinocereus delaetii, ribbed, cylindrical stem entirely covered with white hairs; it resembles young specimens of Cephalo-cereus senilis.
E. rigidissiimis, (rainbow cactus), short stiff spines flattened against the stem, alternate zones being white and red— hence the common name.
Spherical cacti with straight ribs, sometimes divided into tubercles; offsets are produced freely. The flowers are very large with long tubes, white or pink. There has been much hybridization, and it is doubtful if the plants now in cultivation are true species.
eyriesii, a round plant with flowers up to 10 in. long, white with green throat.
E. multiplex, a globular plant with pink flowers.
E. oxygona, similar to E. multiplex.
Formerly known as Phyllocactus, these are, not desert, cacti. The stems are flattened, often wavy or notched along the edge, with very small spines, if any, in the notches. The flowers are large and showy; most of the plants in cultivation are hybrids, often with other genera.
This large genus is world-wide in its distribution but only a few of the species are succulent; some, from South Africa, are often mistaken for cacti because of their columnar, spiny stems, but they belong to a quite distinct plant family, as can be seen by their flowers, which are quite small and insignificant. A milky juice or latex exudes if the skin is broken, and in some cases this is poisonous.
caput-medusae, cylindrical, spineless branches rise from a large central head, a new ring of branches being formed annually.
E. grandicomis, angular stems, and spines in pairs along the angles.
E. heptagona, ribbed columnar stems with solitary spines along angles.
E. horrida similar to E. heptagona, but much stouter.
E. meloformis, has low stem, depressed in the centre, with about eight wide ribs. The male and female flowers grow on different plants, and the so-called spines are the remains of branching flower stalks that have become woody.
E. ohesa, round when young, becoming cylindrical; ribs more prominent at the top, and its grey surface is covered with dull purple, transverse lines.
E. pseudocacius, similar to E. grandicomis.
E. splendens, not really a succulent, but often grown as such.Has branching stems with irregularly scattered spines; bright green, oval leaves near tips of branches during growing period. Flowers small, but surrounded by two conspicuous bright red bracts.
E. submammilluris, similar to E. heptagona but smaller and freely branching.
E. tirucalli, erect stems, leafless and spineless.
E. virosa, similar to E. grandicornis.
These low-growing mesembryanthemums have two or three pairs of thick leaves at right angles to each other; they are keeled at the back, with a fringe of teeth along each edge.
Faucaria tigrina, with large, stemless, bright yellow flowers, and leaves 1-1/2 to 2 in. long.
F. tuberculosa, similar to F. tigrina but the leaves are not so long; short stout teeth occur on the back as well as on the edges of the leaves.
, known as “window plants” because of the translucent upper surface of the erect, cylindrical leaves, which are held in rosettes.
Fenestraria aurantiaca has large yellow flowers.
F. rhopalophylla has large white flowers.
These large spherical cacti do not make offsets. The ribs are well developed and the spines are stout, sometimes flattened, and usually curved or hooked.
Ferocactus rectispinus, unusually long spines, up to 5 in.
F. wislizenii, very stout, with flattened central spines.
Related to the aloes and haworthias, these plants can generally be recognized by the leaves, which are arranged in two ranks instead of in a rosette, with no stem. The flowers are small, tubular with a swollen base, reddish with green tips, and hang from long, arching flower stems.
Gasteria disticha, short, broad, dark green leaves patterned in white.
G. verrucosa, leaves about 6 in. long and more pointed than G. disticha, greyish-green with white dots.
Mesembryanthemums with soft-fleshed, green leaves closely packed in two ranks along short stems that are often prostrate. The flowers, which appear in September, are very large.
Glottiphyllum depressum, translucent green leaves and yellow flowers up to 2 in. across.
G. linguiforme, wider leaves and larger yellow flowers, but many plants under this name are hybrids.
This genus from Mexico is closely related to Echeveria.
Graptopetalum amelhyslinum has very thick bluish-grey leaves, flushed with amethyst, on a stout, branching stem; small white flowers held in a loose cluster.
Natives of Argentina and Bolivia, these cacti form low, spherical plants with wide ribs divided into tubercles characterized by a chin-like projection below the areole; the spines are very variable and the white, pink or occasionally yellowish flowers are freely produced and usually large.
Gymnocalycium mihanovichii, an interesting species, as the spherical body has alternate zones of light and dark green, resembling Euphorbia meloformis. Diameter about 2 in.
G. multiflorum, a large bluish-green plant, about 4 or 5 in. across with eight or nine stout, curved spines in each areole; pink flowers 2 in. across.
G. quehlianum, much smaller than G. multiflorum, though the flower is large.
This genus from South and South-west Africa is related to the aloes, but the plants are smaller, the leaves in rosettes and the small white flowers are held in long, loose inflorescences. These plants grow mostly in winter and need less water in summer. Repot in September.
All of the following except Haworthia cymbiformis have thick skins and grow well in the sun.
Haworthia coarctata, leaves are often reddish and incurved.
H. cymbiformis, very succulent, stem less with rosettes of softer leaves. Prefers slight shade.
H. margaritifera, has dark green leaves with raised white dots on back and front.
H. reinwardtii, similar to H. margaritifera but with broader, shorter leaves.
H. tessellata, a distinctive plant; small, low rosettes composed of a few’ very thick leaves with tips recurved; the surface is covered with a network of fine lines.
This genus, which includes plants formerly known as Bryophyllum, comes chiefly from Madagascar and other tropical areas; the plants need moister conditions than most succulents but grow quite well in a cool greenhouse or living-room.
, clusters of bright red flowers. By selection a number of distinct varieties have been obtained.
K. daigremontiana, produces plantlets along the notched edges of the large triangular leaves. Often seen as small specimens but if potted up into richer, will grow more freely and flower in a year or two.
K. tomentosa, leaves covered with silvery hairs, brown along the edges, and held in loose rosettes on branching stems. Does not flower in the British Isles.
K. tubiflora, similar to K. daigremoittiana but produces plantlets only at the tips of its-narrow leaves.
This name is often used for plants that are now generally referred to as Seitecio.
A large genus which includes many of the shrubby mesembryanthemums. Often used for summer bedding, especially near the sea, the following can all be grown in pots but tend to become straggly, when they should be started again from.
aureus, yellow flowers.
L. blandus, large, pale pink flowers.
L. coccincus, taller than L. blandus, with red flowers.
Columnar cerei found in both Mexico and Peru, with large felted areoles and numerous stout spines.
Lemaireucereus marginatus, dark green stems with five or six ribs along which woolly areoles are very close together.
L. pruinosus, the new growth at the top is glaucous blue. Stout little plants can be obtained from seed in two or three years.
LITHOPS (PEBBLE PLANT) (autumn)
These mimicry mesembryanthemums have one pair of leaves, united to form a top-shaped body. In Nature only the upper surface, which is often beautifully marked, appears above the ground, but in cultivation it is safer not to plant so deeply. The flowers, which may be white or yellow, emerge through the slit across the top. The plants should be kept completely dry during the resting period, from December to about May.
Lithops bella, pale grey with a sunken brown and yellow patterning on the surface, and white flowers.
L. lesliei, olive-green with red patches and yellow flowers.
L. olivacea, one of the “windowed plants”, the centre of each lobe being translucent.
L. optica, differs from other lithops in having a deep cleft between the two lobes, which gape open and have translucent tips; colour normally grey, but there is a purplish-red variety.
Formerly included in Echinopsis, these cacti are medium-sized, round or cylindrical, usually very spiny, and make offsets round the base. They flower freely, the flowers being usually yellow, sometimes orange or red.
Lobivia aurea, large funnel-shaped yellow flowers.
L. famatimensis, variable—flowers may be yellow, orange, pink or blood-red.
L. pentlandii, rather larger; branches to form clumps of orange or red flowers.
This curious cactus from Mexico and Texas forms a low head, depressed in the centre, on a large tap root. Its few ribs are rounded, divided into low tubercles, and there are no spines in the areoles, only tufts of wool. The small pink or white flowers emerge from the woolly centre and are followed by little red fruits. This plant has been used by the Mexican Indians in their rites, for it contains alkaloids that produce hallucinations; it is known as peyote or mescal buttons.
This North American genus is a large one; the plants vary in size but are mostly round or cylindrical, sometimes solitary but more often making offsets or forming clumps. They are characterized by spiral rows of tubercles instead of straight ribs. There is an areole on the top of each tubercle and the spines vary in size and colour; in some kinds there is wool in the axils as well as in the areoles. The flowers are small and produced in rings round the plant, not in the centre. In some the sap is watery but in others it is milky.
Mammillaria applanata, hemispherical, with large green tubercles and white flowers; milky sap.
M. bombycina, a slow-growing type, with hooked central spines; attractive, with red flowers; watery sap.
M. elongata, a small type with golden spines. There are a number of varieties in which the colour of the spines varies; watery sap.
M. gracilis, a small plant, branching freely on the sides to form groups about I or 4 in. across; radial spines’ are white but centrals, which do not appear until the plant reaches flowering size, are brown; watery sap.
M. magnimamma, a variable species with round, green stems; much white wool in the centre and on the areoles; flowers creamy-yellow; milky sap.
M. plumosa, a small plant, 1 in. or so across, completely covered with soft feathery spines; it forms clumps but does not flower in cultivation; watery sap.
This name is applied to many plants that belong to the family Mesembryan-themaceae, especially to the shrubby types. They all come from South and Southwest Africa. Details of some of the genera into which the family is divided will be found under:
Conophytum, Drosanthemum, Faucaria, Fenestraria, Glottiphyllum, Lampranthus, Lithops and Pleiospilos.
This group from South America includes round and cylindrical cacti with ribs in tubercles and large yellow flowers.
Notocactus apricus, globular, with stout, reddish, central spines.
N. leninghausii, a tall-growing plant with golden, bristle-like spines.
This is a large group of cacti found all over America but the types differ in different areas. The stems are jointed and the joints may be flattened, cylindrical or globose. The spines vary in number and type. The characteristic of this genus is that tufts of barbed bristles called glochids are also produced in each areole; as these easily become detached, the plants should be handled with care, for owing to their barbed tips, the glochids are difficult to get out of the skin. To remove them from the skin, press adhesive plaster down over them, and then carefully peel off. Many of the flat-jointed plants make large bushes. Most opuntias do not flower freely in cultivation.
cylindrica, cylindrical stems with lozenge-shaped protuberances bearing areoles but few spines.
O. ficus-indica (Indian fig), a large plant, naturalized in southern Europe and cultivated for its fruit; its oval pads may be up to 1 ft. long.
O. microdasys, smaller than O. ficus-indica, with no spines but tufts of glochids that look like plush, and are white, yellow or reddish according to variety.
O. polyantha, flat oval pads about 4 in. long, bearing yellow spines; produces yellow flowers regularly.
A genus of columnar cacti from South America, which have ribbed stems divided into tubercles; there are few spines but a large number of long hairs which wrap round the plant.
Oreocereus celsianus, white hairs and yellow spines.
O. trottii, silky white hairs which almost cover the plant, and golden-reddish spines.
These Mexican plants are closely related to Echeveria but the glaucous leaves are very thick, club-shaped and arranged in a loose rosette up a short, stout stem. The flowers are small.
Pachyphytum compactum, very close rosettes 1 to 2 in. across, dark red flowers with greenish tips.
P. oviferum, larger leaves than P. compactum, more loosely arranged, and with a dense white coating; scarlet flowers.
These small South American cacti have straight or spiral ribs divided into tubercles and the areoles near the centre have much white wool; the flowers are large, red or orange, and freely produced.
Parodia microsperma, a round plant, elongated when old; makes offsets round the base by which it can be propagated.
P. nivosa, an attractive little plant with snow-white wool at the top. Does not produce offsets so freely as P. microsperma.
PELARGONIUM (spring and autumn)
These plants from South Africa are not markedly succulent; some have succulent stems like the common garden geranium, which is a, and a few have thick, woody stems which act as storage organs, leaves appearing only in the growing season.
echinatum, thick woody stem, produces hairy, heart-shaped leaves in autumn, which is the beginning of the growing period; flowers are small and lilac coloured.
P. tetragonum, an attractive plant with slender, four-sided stems, which stay green throughout the year even when its small geranium-like leaves have fallen. Large pink flowers, two or three together, at the tips of branches.
These mesembryanthemums usually consist of a single pair of thick leaves which look like chunks of stone; the large yellow flowers appear between the leaves in autumn at the end of the growing season, which starts during the summer. During the resting period keep the plants completely dry. Even when a new pair of leaves begins to grow in the centre, give no water until the old pair begins to dry up. They will then have passed on the nourishment stored in them to the growing pair.
Pleiospilos bolusii. Its leaves, which are brownish-green with dark dots, are about 3 in. long and broad, with the lower side rounded.
P. nelii, similar to P. bolusii, but each leaf is the shape of half a sphere.
P. simulans, its leaves are very thick, but spread out on the ground.
A South American genus of small, spherical cacti, which usually make offsets from the base or sides of the plant; the flowers spring from old areoles, near the base in some species.
Rebutia minuscula looks like a small green golf ball; bears a large number of scarlet flowers with slender tubes.
R. senilis, similar to R. minuscula, but long white spines surround the plant.
An epiphytic type of cactus from Brazil having freely branching, short, dark green or reddish stems with narrow, flat joints.
Rhipsalidopsis rosea, pink flowers (up to 1 in. across) produced freely at the tips in spring.
This epiphytic cactus has short, flattened, jointed stems with elongated areoles on the top from which flowers and new joints develop.
Scblumbergera gaerlneri, (), has bright red flowers. There are a number of hybrids and varieties.
SEDUM (spring and summer)
This genus is widely distributed, but almost entirely in the northern hemisphere; many of the species, therefore, are hardy in Great Britain, and even though slightly succulent, are often regarded as alpines rather than succulent plants. Those that come from warmer countries, such as Mexico, can be grown out-of-doors if protected from frost, and some are very attractive, especially if grown in full sun when their colouring is at its best. There are a number of small types not unlike the native stone-crop (acre), such as S. stahlii and S. guatemalense.
Sedum dasyphyllum, a small plant whose tiny, bluish, succulent leaves tinge red in the sun.
S. guatemalense, fat, bronzy leaves about 1/2 in. long, becoming green if out of sun.
S. merganianum (burro’s tail), a hanging plant from Mexico; small cylindrical, close-packed, bluish leaves along long stems ending in small bunches of pale pink flowers.
S. pachyphyllum, erect woody stems with slender club-shaped leaves towards the ends, pale glaucous green with red tips.
S. stahlii, prostrate stems with fat little reddish leaves.
SENECIO (summer and autumn)
This large genus includes plants of many kinds, including the common groundsel; a few of the South African species are succulent, such as Senecio articulata.
Semcio articulata (syn. Kleinia articulata) (candle plant), keep dry from March to September to keep stems short and glaucous blue (watering will make them long and green); leaves and flowers appear on watering again in the autumn.
S. haworthia (syn. K. tomentosa), slow-growing, lovely plant, which branches from the base only; its long cylindrical leaves are wrapped in a felt of white hairs.
S. stapeliaeformis, four-angled, dark purplish-green stems; new growths tend to burrow underground before emerging and growing erect to end in orange-red heads of flowers.
STAPELIA (CARRION FLOWER) (autumn)
When their flowers open, these African plants have an unpleasant smell, which attracts blow-flies for pollination. The stems are usually angular, leafless and rather soft in texture. Do not give them much water, but do not keep them completely dry when resting.
Stapelia variegata, stems smooth and erect with spreading teeth; five-pointed, star-shaped flowers at base, with wrinkled surface, yellow with purple markings.
Columnar cacti from South America, which usually branch from the base; the spines are well developed and the white flowers, which are produced on old specimens only, open at night.
Trichocereus spachianus, a vigorous grower, used asstock. Areoles close, with curly white wool and yellow-brown spines. Branches at base when about 12 in. high.
Zygocactus truncatus (Christmas cactus), an epiphytic cactus with flattened, jointed stems, terminating in bright carmine flowers, two-lipped rather than regular, produced very early in the year. In summer give less water and put outside in the shade; bring in again before winter frosts and then, if necessary, repot in fresh soil.