Ceropegia buchananii (N.E.Br.) Bruyns
Brachystelma buchananii (basionym), Brachystelma magicum, Brachystelma nauseosum, Brachystelma shirense
Ceropegia buchananii, formerly know as Brachystelma buchananii, is an erect or procumbent perennial with annual stems, growing from a tuber. The leaves are large, green, ovate-elliptic and arranged in an alternate or opposite position. The corolla is up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter, cup-shaped, outside greenish, inside wrinkled, cream with dark purple margin and stripes, glabrous or more or less white-hairy, on both sides and 5-lobed to half-way down.
USDA hardiness zone 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
A gritty compost is suitable, and clay pots help with drainage, especially for the species with white thickened roots which are the most susceptible to rotting and for species forming large tubers. Ceropegias appreciate water and a little fertilizer during warm weather, although some care with watering is required for the more difficult species. The vine-like species can suffer from prolonged drought.
Typically, many of these species grow and climb naturally among bushes which provide shade and humidity to the base, while the vegetative growth is in the light. Where tubers occur, they are best planted on the surface of the compost, and the vegetative growth allowed to twine around supports or to trail down from a hanging pot. The latter mode of growth has the advantage of not using valuable bench space. Small tubers formed at joints in the thin stems of some species can be used for propagation. If the tuber rots or dries out, don't panic. As long as some of the top growth is still in reasonable condition, it may be possible to save the plant by re-rooting stems in damp gravel… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Ceropegia
It is native to Congo, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
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Includes data from the synonyms:
Masinde, P. (2007). A Revision of Brachystelma Sims (Apocynaceae: Asclepiadoideae-Ceropegieae) in East Africa. Kew Bulletin, 62(1), 37-84. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20443316
Type Malawi (Nyasaland), Southern, Prov., Shire Highlands, no date, Buchanan 116 (holotype K!, fragment: one leaf & one flower in envelope). Morphology General Habit Stout, erect herb to 30 cm high Morphology Roots Root a discoid tuber to 5 cm in diam. Stem erect, stout nodes slightly swollen internodes (10 -)50 mm long, 3 - 4 mm in diam., pubescent all round, hairs minute, simple, whitish-translucent, reflexed Morphology Leaves Leaves herbaceous, spreading, subsessile to shortly petiolate petiole ± 0 - 4 mm long lamina 38 - 127 x 19 - 70 mm, broadly elliptic, elliptic-obovate or oblanceolate-oblong, base cuneate-acute, apex acute, subobtuse or acuminate both surfaces shortly pubescent especially on the veins and midrib beneath, margin entire, ciliolate Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Inflorescence terminal, sessile umbels 20 - 30-flowered, up to 80 mm in diam., flowers opening simultaneously bracts subulate, c. 1 x 0.2 mm, + pubescent pedicels (5 -)38 mm long, c. 1 mm in diam., shortly pubescent Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx Sepals linear-lanceolate or lanceolate-attenuate, 4- 6 x c. 1 mm at base, abaxially minutely pubescent Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla Corolla in total 15 - 26 mm in diam., rotate or broadly saucer-shaped, glabrous throughout exterior dark mauve or blackish purple interior concentrically zoned with yellowish and blackish purple or dark purple-brown tube cup- or bowl-shaped, 12 - 16 mm in diam. at mouth, 6- 16 mm deep lobes 3 - 6 mm long, 2 - 5 mm wide at base, triangular- acute, lobed to half-way down or reduced to deltoid teeth Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corona Corona globular, c. 4.5 mm in diam. x 2.5 mm high, subsessile, biseriate, red-brown outer lobes cupular at the base, margin deeply incised at centre into ± U-shaped sinuses, 10-toothed teeth c. 1 - 2 mm long, deltoid-subulate, ascending, densely whitish hairy in upper half inner lobes 1 - 1.5 mm long, c. 0.4 mm wide, linear or oblong, obtuse, incumbent on backs of anthers and equalling or slightly exceeding them, glabrous guide rails c. 400 pm long carpels glabrous Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Pollinarium Pollinarium: pollinia 250 - 500 x 170 - 400 μm, corpusculum, obovate c. 150 x 50 pm, with broad, basal lateral membranes Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits Follicles thickly fusiform, c. 68 x 9 mm, smooth. Phenology Flowering: Jan. Ecology Seasonally wet grassland altitude, 1150 1600 m. Distribution Tanzania (T4, 8), Dem. Rep. Congo, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe. Note In terms of the overall size of stems, leaves and height, this species is the largest Brachystelma in East Africa. B. buchananii are sturdy plants compared to the usually dwarf, weak-looking Brachystelmas in the region. The arrangement and size of inflorescence is most similar to that of B. barberae Hook. f. Such a spectacular inflorescence makes this species a good candidate for cultivation as an ornamental. It is closely related to B. omissum Bullock and B. togoense Schltr. which occur more frequently from central to west Africa although B. omissum reaches Zambia. B. buchananii has the most easterly distribution in the alliance of these three species. The vegetative form and inflorescence comprising a terminal, dense umbel which is globose, is the same in all the three species. The corolla and corona forms are similar but B. buchananii differs from the other two species by the completely glabrous corolla both on the interior and exterior and in their colour. B. buchananii is more similar in its vegetative, corolla and corona morphology to B. omissum than B. togoense. The three taxa have a basic corona structure consisting of well-developed outer corona lobes with a deeply incised margin resulting in well-developed teeth that are hairy. The outer lobes often rise well above the stylar head. The inner lobes either equal or surpass the anthers in B. buchananii and B. omissum, while in B. togoense, they are rudimentary at the bases of the anthers. B. buchananii does not appear to be related to B. chlorozonum E. A. Bruce as conjectured by Meve (2002). B. chlorozonum has a decumbent or creeping habit, solitary pendulous flowers, a deeply cupular corona without any teeth on outer lobes and thus quite different from the species in the B. buchananii- omissum -togoense alliance. There are however some similarities in vegetative form especially in the leaf shape and indumentum but these are most likely superficial. B. buchananii is probably also related to B. maritae (see under B. maritae for further discussion) . Lauchs (2002a, b) reports that Brachystelma buchananii in the Ruvuma, Iringa and Mbeya Provinces of Tanzania in the southern Highlands, grows to 12 cm high in well drained soil, hidden in short grass from about 1600 to 2100 m where they withstand night frosts. Typical associated vegetation consists of Aeollanthus spp., Plectranthus spp. and small Protea bushes as well as bulbs and orchids.
Apocynaceae (part 2), David Goyder, Timothy Harris, Siro Masinde, Ulrich Meve, Johan Venter. Flora of Tropical East Africa, 2012
Morphology General Habit Stout, erect herb to 30 cm high. Morphology Roots Root a discoid tuber to 5 cm in diameter. Morphology Stem Stem erect, stout, 3–4 mm in diameter, nodes slightly swollen, pubescent all round Morphology Leaves Leaves herbaceous petiole 0–4 mm long lamina broadly elliptic, elliptic-obovate or oblanceolate-oblong, 38–127 × 19–70 mm, base cuneate-acute, apex acute, subobtuse or acuminate, shortly pubescent especially on the veins and midrib beneath, margin ciliolate. Inflorescence terminal, sessile umbels 20–30-flowered, up to 80 mm in diameter, flowers opening simultaneously bracts subulate, ± 1 × 0.2 mm, pubescent pedicels 5–38 mm long, shortly pubescent Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx Sepals linear-lanceolate or lanceolateattenuate, 4–6 × ± 1 mm, abaxially minutely pubescent Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla Corolla in total 15–26 mm in diameter, rotate or broadly saucer-shaped, glabrous throughout exterior dark mauve or blackish purple interior concentrically zoned with yellowish and blackish purple or dark purple-brown tube cup- or bowl-shaped, 6–16 mm deep, 12–16 mm in diameter at mouth lobes triangular-acute, 3–6 × 2–5 mm, lobed to half-way down or reduced to deltoid teeth Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corona Corona globular, ± 2.5 × 4.5 mm, subsessile, biseriate, redbrown outer lobes cupular at the base, margin deeply incised at centre into ± Ushaped sinuses, 10-toothed teeth 1–2 mm long, deltoid-subulate, ascending, densely whitish hairy in upper half inner lobes linear or oblong, 1–1.5 × ± 0.4 mm, obtuse, incumbent on backs of anthers and equalling or slightly exceeding them, glabrous guide rails ± 0.4 mm long Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Pollinia Pollinia 0.25–0.5 × 0.17–0.4 mm, corpusculum obovate ± 0.15 × 0.05 mm Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits Follicles thickly fusiform, ± 68 × 9 mm, smooth seed not known. Ecology Seasonally wet grassland 1150–1600 m Note In terms of the overall size of stems, leaves and height, this species is the largest Brachystelma in East Africa. It is closely related to B. omissum Bullock and B. togoense Schltr. which occur more frequently from central to West Africa, although B. omissum reaches Zambia. Distribution Range: Congo-Kinshasa, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe Flora districts: T4 T ?6, T8
Albers, F. & Meve, U. (eds.) (2002). Asclepiadaceae Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants Springer-Verlag Pages 23 - 24. (Includes a picture).
Binns, B. (1968). A First Check List of the Herbaceous Flora of Malawi The Government Printer, Zomba, Malawi Page 20.
Bruyns, P.V., Klak, C. & hanáček, P. (2018). An account of Ceropegia sect. Chamaesiphon (Apocynaceae) in Moçambique with new records and two new species Phytotaxa 364(2) Pages 119 - 121. As Ceropegia buchananii
Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 19.
Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 24.