Ceropegia dichotoma


Ceropegia aphylla
Ceropegia hians
Ceropegia hians var. striata


Ceropegia dichotoma, known as Dichotomous Ceropegia, is exclusive to the Canary Islands. It is distributed across various islands including Tenerife (in the Anaga region towards the east and the Teno region towards the west), La Palma, La Gomera, Hierro, and Lanzarote.

In its natural habitat, this species thrives abundantly in the Tabaibal-Cardonal zone, flourishing at altitudes of up to approximately 600 meters. It takes on the form of expansive, upright shrubs. You’ll commonly find it in areas with older, grainy soils in shades of white or cream, as well as nestled in rock crevices that offer proper drainage. This hardy plant prefers spots with ample sunlight and a prolonged dry climate.


Ceropegia dichotoma, often called the “Dichotomous Ceropegia,” stands out as one of the most succulent shrubby species in the Ceropegia family. It starts as a sturdy, upward-growing stem, eventually giving rise to a colony of succulent stems. These stems, under bright sunlight, take on a white waxy appearance. When mature, they resemble grey organ pipes.
These highly succulent stems are smooth, with occasional narrowings that give them the appearance of a series of slender sausages. They can reach heights between 30 to 120 centimeters, although they typically stay around 60 centimeters. For most of the year, they bear no leaves. They are cylindrical, measuring 5-20 millimeters in diameter, and their color ranges from green to olive-green, or even light-brown to whitish-green due to a layer of protective wax.
The leaves are sessile, elongated with a slightly succulent texture, and can vary widely in length, from 2 to 120 millimeters, with a width of 3 to 8 millimeters. They are green, with paler veins, and their edges often curl inward. Leaves sprout at each node during winter and at the tip of the stem, typically measuring about 5 centimeters in length. They grow in opposing pairs, but they are deciduous, meaning they fall off and wilt quickly if not provided with enough water.
Come blooming season in autumn and winter, Ceropegia dichotoma puts forth its flowers. These are clustered in pseudo-umbels at the upper section of the stem, sometimes appearing in the axils. Each cluster carries 1 to 15 florets, although usually, there are 2 to 6. The individual flowers have a lantern-like shape and are a sunny yellow hue. The corolla measures 3 to 4 centimeters long, with a tube of 10 to 16 millimeters. The corolla lobes, five in total, fuse together to form a conical to ovoid cage, with rolled-out edges that create an open appearance. The pedicel, the stem holding the flower, is 2 to 6 millimeters long, and the sepals are triangular, 1 to 2 millimeters in length, with a sharp point.
Finally, the fruit is a distinctive pair of horn-shaped capsules, which can reach lengths of up to 12 centimeters. This captivating succulent showcases its unique features throughout the year, making it a fascinating addition to any plant enthusiast’s collection.


For optimal growth, provide Ceropegia dichotoma with plenty of sunlight, ranging from full to partial sun exposure. During the warmer months, ensure moderate watering, but reduce it in the winter when the plant enters a dormant phase. This species thrives in hot conditions and benefits from as much sun as possible. Be cautious of drafts, especially cold ones.
In mild climates, it can even be cultivated outdoors with minimal attention, as it tends to flourish semi-neglected. Remarkably robust, this plant demonstrates exceptional resistance to pests and diseases, although occasional vigilance against mealy bugs is advised. It’s rare to encounter any issues with aphids or other ailments when caring for this resilient succulent. When it comes to watering, provide small, regular amounts every 3-4 days, allowing the soil to fully dry out between waterings. During winter, reduce watering but never suspend it completely. Fertilize twice a year, ideally in the beginning of autumn and spring, using a specialized product for succulents. Choose a substrate that is rich in organic matter but lightweight. A mixture of pebbles, sand, and bark pieces can create an ideal growing medium.
Repot your Ceropegia dichotoma every 3-4 years to ensure continued healthy growth and development.


Ceropegia dichotoma can be propagated through branch cuttings or the tuberous growths that develop among its branches. In early spring, carefully detach these growths from the plant and plant them, making sure to keep the pot in a warm and humid environment, similar to how you would treat a cutting. This method ensures successful propagation and the growth of new plants.


The etymology of “Ceropegia dichotoma” is derived from Greek terms:

“Cero” comes from the Greek word “keros,” which means “wax,” referring to the waxy appearance of the flowers.
“Pegia” is derived from “pegos,” meaning “thick,” denoting the succulent nature of the stems.
“Dichotoma” is also from Greek, where “di” means “two” and “chotomos” means “cleft” or “forked,” describing the characteristic forked growth pattern of the plant.
In essence, the name reflects the plant’s distinct features, including its succulent, wax-covered stems and its tendency to grow in a forked or dichotomous manner.

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