Ceropegia armandii


No synonyms are recorded for this species name.


Ceropegia armandii is native to Madagascar, specifically to Tolinara. Its preferred soils are sandy.


Ceropegia armandii is an odd plant, often pursued by collectors. It’s composed of a tuber from which a lizard-dragon-shaped slender stem develop. This stem, dark green, almost black, climb on other trees or bushes or either creeps all around, rooting below. It has a really weird aspect. It’s quadrangular and, on staggered sides, has vegetative tubercles which look like noses or little paws of a caterpillar and actually are podaria, namely bases of the leaves. From these tubercles the plant forms leaves and new roots when creeping upon available soil. The leaves are early-falling, ovate, acuminate, of a lighter green than the color of the stem. When the plant blossoms, a new stem, thinner and cylindrical, develop from the top of the main, quadrangular one, and it bears the flower. Flowers are curious for the shape of their corolla: its base is actually swollen and diamond-shaped, green, and its 5 lobes (the equivalent of the petals in many kinds of corolla) are kind of strange tendrils, pea green, arching and uniting at their tips, forming a cage.


Ceropegia armandii and, in general, plants belonging to the genus “Ceropegia”, are not so easy to cultivate. They are sensitive to rots and also to many diseases although, actually, plants which are available in nurseries belong to tough cultivars and are more resistant. Ceropegia armandii needs dim light, when grown outdoors, and a sunny spot if grown indoors. Attention to cold draughts. Water the plant every 3-4 days, waiting until the soil dries completely before each watering, and suspend watering in winter. Choose a substrate rich in nutrients and organic matter, but one that’s also well-drained. Fertilizers must be applied twice a year, with an ordinary product for houseplants. Repotting is necessary every 3-4 years. Ceropegia armandii comes from hot climates: its minimum tolerated temperatures are among 10-15ºC in winter, and, during the vegetative stage, the ideal temperature is 25ºC: that’s why they are generally used as houseplants.


Propagation is made though branch cuttings or either the tuberous growth which develop on the branches. In this case, it’s sufficient taking them off delicately in spring and plant them in a humid substrate, maintaining a warm temperature as if it would be a cutting.


The name “Ceropegia” derives from Greek and literally means “wax fountain”, referring to the very particular flowers, which develop into umbrella shape, are very fleshy and have a waxy appearance.

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