Orbea decaisneana subs. hesperidum
Caralluma commutata subs. hesperidum
Caralluma decaisneana subs. hesperidum
Pachycymbium decaisneanum subs. hesperidum
Caralluma hesperidum is a succulent endemic in moroccan dry regions, from the coast to the deep inland.
Caralluma hesperidum is a perennial succulent; it grows slender, cylindrical, curved stems up to 20 cm high with conical tubercles on them. The stem are whitish-green to grey-green and marbled in brownish-purple. From summer to autumn, C. hesperidum blooms in star-shaped, blackish-purple flowers.
C. hesperidum is an easy-to-grow succulent. It has to be repotted every year: use a container with good drainage, adding porous, mildly alkaline, mineral cactus mix substratum. This plant needs regular watering, particularly during summer – when you can add a high potassium fertilizer. It grows at its best in half shade, but it can live in full sun (which will make it get a bronze colour, but be careful to high temperatures) to full shade exposure. During winter, C. hesperidum can resist 5°C for short periods, but it is better to avoid temperatures lower than 10°C.
To propagate C. hesperidum by seeds, sow them fresh. If you want to use cuttings, you will need to keep them dry in hot temperatures to make them root.
The name “Caralluma” 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.
Caralluma hesperidum is an ingredient for many magic-medicinal remedies of Senegalese tradition.