Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Huernia primulina

Huernia primulina

I almost missed the first Huernia primulina flower of the season this week. It flowered a little early, and caught me off guard. The buds are small and blend in with the top dressing in the container, so they are hard to see. If it weren’t for the dark wine center, I would have passed it up while touring my garden today. There is another bud in the top left portion of this photo, and it should open within the week.

The H. primulina is one of 60 species of Huernia. The flowers are not as dramatic as others in the species since they are small, and sort of beige, except for the center. This species has a prominent ring shaped protrusion near the center called an annulus. It reminds me of a tiny tire tube. The star shaped flowers emit only a faint carrion smell, unlike some in the genus, which have such a strong smell that it is almost sickening. The reason the flowers have that nasty scent is to attract flies to pollinate the species.

This South African plant takes little care and I keep it in bright shade on my patio. It cannot take sun and will burn if in direct sunlight. It readily clumps, and forms new stems every growing season. I occasionally take a cutting from the mother plant and start some new plants, just by letting a portion of the cut stem touch the soil. It quickly roots, and I have a brand new plant.


Michelle said...

this is pretty unusual. great for you that it starts again so easily!!

Could I ask a favor from you? Would you follow me to this page
and tell me what the large red/orange flowering plants are just above the gateway? I *LOVE* these and see them every time I'm in the desert area, but I have no idea what they are!

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!! :)

Happy Gardening!!

Michelle said...

THANK YOU so much!! YES! That's absolutely what I was looking for! Will this do well in 8A? I *LOVE* this stuff!! Our soil is kinda heavy though....perhaps supplement with something? Thanks! :)