Caralluma acutangula


This name, “Caralluma acutangola”, is actually a synonym of the name “Caralluma retrospiciens. There are also other synonims:

Boucerosia acutangula
Boucerosia russeliana
Boucerosia tombuctuensis
Caralluma hirtiflora
Caralluma retrospiciens var. acutangula
Caralluma retrospiciens var. glabra
Caralluma retrospiciens var. hirtiflora
Caralluma retrospiciens var. laxiflora
Caralluma retrospiciens subsp. tombuctuensis
Caralluma retrospiciens var. tombuctuensis
Caralluma russelliana
Caralluma tombuctuensis
Desmidorchis acutangula
Desmidorchis retrospiciens
Stapelia desmidorchis


Caralluma acutangola is widespread in Africa in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, but there are several populations also in Senegal, Mauretania, Nigeria, some parts of Algerian Sahara, up to 1800 meters above sea level.


Caralluma retrospiciens is a perennial plant which forms succulent bushes composed of many tri-lobated green stems. It hasn’t got leaves, so the photosynthesis is done by the stems. Stems have an irregular surface. They are triangular with wavy edges. The inflorescence is an umbrella of dark deep reddish purple, almost black flowers.


Caralluma acutangola needs a bright spot but it should be protected from direct sunlight during the central, hottest hours. Be careful with watering: during the winter once a month is sufficient. In the summer, just check the soil: wait 1-2 days after it dries completely up before each watering. Soil could be a cactus succulent mix, well draining and rich in nutrients. Repotting is necessary in the beginning of spring. Clay pots are better because they help the process of draining of the soil.


Propagation is easy either by cuttings or by seed. If you try propagation by cuttings, pay attention: the wound should be dried up before putting it into the soil.


Its name comes from Arabic and literally means “wound of the flesh”, probably referring to the unpleasant smell that the flowers of this genus give off, just like Stapelia, which is very similar.

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