Euphorbia succulenta var. succulenta
Monadenium stapelioides is native to Kenya and Tanzania where the plant grows amongst grass on rocky ground and can spread up to 2125 m of altitude
Monadenium stapelioides is a perennial succulent belonging to the Euphorbiaceae botanical family. The plant has a cluster forming habit and can reach up to 60 cm in diameter. The numerous stems are cylindrical, dark green, thick, erect or reclining on the ground and can reach up to 40 cm in height. The plant tends to branch out and the stems are covered with upward-pointing tubercles spirally arranged. The tubercles are prominent, rhomboid to hexagonal and bear the leaves. The leaves are obovate to oblanceolate, fleshy, glabrous, bright green in color with purple margins, tapered at the base and apiculate at the apex. Blooming occurs from the early spring to the early summer and The cymose inflorescences are made of 3 flowers and are borne at the apex of the stem along the top of the angles of the ribs. Ciathya are the typical inflorescence of the Euphorbia, it is an inflorescence consisting of a cuplike cluster of modified leaves enclosing unisexual flowers. This species has small, greenish to pale pink ciathya normally being all male on some plants, or all female on others. The plant is dioecious so male e female flowers are borne on different plants. Because there are male plants and female plants, cross pollination is required that is normally carried out by insects. The fruits are capsules with narrow fleshy crenulate ridges. The seeds are oblong, 4-angled and grey.
The plant has a slow growth rate but it easy to cultivate. The best sun-exposure is in bright place but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light in the hottest periods. The minimum temperatures that the plant can withstand are 15° C, below this temperature it begins to suffer so it needs to be placed indoors in the coldest periods. The perfect soil is a well-drained soil that let the water to drain away and avoid root rot. To achieve this feature, you can mix the pumice soil, clay and soil. Remember to use a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly in Spring and Summer: during the vegetative period you can water the plant (every 7 days), checking that the soil is completely dry before watering again; in winter you should stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. If you want a faster and lush growth you can fertilize the plant once a month during the growing season with the specific fertilizers for succulents; stop fertilizing throughout the winter. If the pot starts to be too small for the plant you can repot the plant in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil. Be careful to red spiders and mealy bugs.
Propagation can be done by cutting or by seed. By cutting you can make the cut during the spring and then let the cutting dry; after a few days the cut surface will dry and a callus will form, then place the cutting in a mixture of sand, soil and pumice. To increase the success of propagation you can make two or more cuttings at the same time. For cuttings it is recommended temperatures around 20 °C. By seed it is very simple to propagate the plant, it is enough to sow the seed in a sandy loam soil and keep it with a high level of humidity and at temperature of 14 C°.
Recently, it has been included in the Euphorbia genre, although many collectors prefer to consider it still a genre in itself.
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